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672WOSSNAME -- November 2013 -- Main issue

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  • WOSSNAME-owner@yahoogroups.com
    Nov 19, 2013


      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion

      November 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 11, 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.


      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


      Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion















      13) CLOSE



      "Siren voices tell me, 'You don't have to keep going on.' And then

      you think, 'I'm a writer. What do I do? Sit there watching my wife

      clean up?' I don't know. I like being a writer. The book I'm writing

      right now is gonna be a good one, I believe. If it gets really bad,

      get the little men to go into the flying saucer and take me away

      from it all."

      – Pterry, interviewed on NPR, 3rd November 2013...

      [Note: the radio interview, if still available online, can be

      accessed via http://tinyurl.com/l6tkk6u – Ed.]

      "Lord Vetinari is that wonderful thing: a sensible ruler — that's

      why he's so popular. Everyone grumbles about him, but no one wants

      to chance what it would be like if he wasn't there. I like Vetinari.

      I don't mind authority, but not authoritarian authority. After all,

      the bus driver is allowed to be the boss of the bus. But if he's bad

      at driving, he's not going to be a bus driver any more."

      – and interviewed by Cory Doctorow, November 2013



      I have always loved steam trains, even though a former dearly-

      beloved of mine was run over by one (yes, true and documented, but

      he made a full recovery apart from being several inches shorter

      afterwards). Raising Steam captures the magic of steam railways

      perfectly. Sheer magic! See my review below (item 3).


      Raising Steam went to number 1 on the UK hardcover original fiction

      bestseller list after only three days! It also made number 3 in in

      the UK's overall, fiction, non-fiction and children's top 50 list.




      USA readers, have you bought your copy of The Carpet People yet? If

      not, you are missing out on a classic that is also beautifully

      presented in hardcover this time around. There is an extract

      available for new readers:


      ...and the trailer:



      Once again, I'm promoting the Cory-and-Pterry interview, but this

      time with a direct link to BoingBoing:


      And now, on with the show!

      – Annie Mac, Editor




      By Annie Mac

      I love the way Terry Pratchett writes sex scenes.

      No, really.

      It began in The Fifth Elephant, when... wait, no, I suppose it began

      all the way back in Men at Arms, when Carrot's first experience of

      the joys of dancing the horizontal tango was presented with a small

      yet perfectly formed "After a while the bedsprings went *glink*",

      and continued through various delectably understated Sam And Sybil

      Moments – and that tantalising teaser in Unseen Academicals, where

      the combination of Vetinari and Lady Margolotta, private Palace

      rooms, and a quick but clear reference to, erm, recreational

      rubberwear can surely only lead the reader to one Ogg-approved

      assumption – to the depictions of conjugal bliss in the Lipwig-

      Dearheart household. Somehow, Pratchett's offhanded one-liners

      convey both passion and tenderness without ever having to resort to

      the sort of prosed that demands plain brown wrappers.

      That said, Raising Steam is not at all *that* kind of steamy, but

      the steam it *is* about is no less exciting in its way.

      Let me start by acknowledging that yes, the "feel" of Raising Steam

      is somewhat different from that of the mid-period Discworld novels.

      Stylistically, it seems to me to be closer to Snuff than to, say,

      Night Watch; more episodic, with the main thrust of the story not

      developing until we get a fair way in. I do not consider this a

      weakness – yes, it's different, but I feel very strongly that it

      is *not* lesser for it. The series is thirty years old now, and

      Pratchett's style was never likely to remain static. Nor am I

      dancing around the PCA issue here: in the early parts of the

      narrative I kept getting distracted by the beauty of the language,

      the sheer sparkle and flow of it, and I do suspect that that

      distracting loveliness is likely a result of the author's

      acclimatising to creation-by-dictation. Imagining – and telling

      – a story in speech is not quite the same as doing it via pen and

      keypad. Sir Pterry has had to get used to this change, and I am very

      willing to get used to the changes it's brought.

      Many people group Discworld novels into sub-headings: the Watch

      novels, the Witches novels, the Death novels and so on. I tend to

      think of the series as being composed of only two categories: books

      that are primarily driven by people or events, and books that are

      primarily driven by, well, *things* – pastimes, arts, sport. Some

      of the Discworld novels I place in the latter category are Soul

      Music, Unseen Academicals, and Maskerade... and now, Raising Steam.

      It's not that these lack richness of stories and characters; it's

      just that the art or artefact takes the starring role in the

      proceedings. The people and the plots are very much there and fully

      realised, but to me they take second place. And there is no doubt

      that Raising Steam's raison d'etre, if you'll pardon my Quirmian, is

      trains and the coming of the Age of Steam.

      This is above all a book about trains. And train spotters, because

      where there are trains, there are train spotters. And steam

      enthusiasts – some of them surprisingly close to home. And,

      eventually, it's about timetables, travel guides, days at the

      seaside, and the creation of suburbs and holiday homes. And it's

      also about the knock-on effects of getting one's perishable produce

      to international markets in an unperished condition. All of this is

      liberally spiced with lashings of avec, that is, the delights of

      Roundworld name-checks (sometimes not so much thinly disguised as

      hardly disguised at all) and a wealth of bilingual pun(e)s.

      Furthermore, Raising Steam gives squee-worthy fan-service to all

      faithful Discworld series followers: you will find a tasty macedoine

      (or perhaps salade Nicoise, given the plentiful Quirmian fish and

      seafood references) of cameos, some in the form of blink-and-you'll

      miss-it passing mentions but none of them gratuitous, and assorted

      welcome resolutions of or updates to various character arcs.

      It is also a longer book, not in physical length – 375 pages, far

      from the longest novel in the series – but in elapsed story-time.

      This is as it should be, since one can't expect a railway line to be

      laid from Ankh-Morpork to Quirm (or Uberwald!) in anything less than

      multiple months. All right, yes, a Sourcerer could do it, but we all

      know where that sort of thing leads...

      Now then, Moist von Lipwig: I have always been fond of Moist, from

      the moment we met him in the Palace dungeon, awaiting his

      appointment with Mr Trooper, and now I have another reason to

      celebrate this third Moist-centric book. It seems to me that of all

      Pratchett's primary characters in the series, Moist von Lipwig has

      evolved and matured the most. By the end of Raising Steam, he is

      truly a changed man, and yet the change comes without any loss of

      the traits that made him so fascinating from the off. And yet... oh,

      how he's been changing! Once a taker, now a giver; always seeing his

      new behaviours as being at odds with what he believes to be his true

      nature (con man ever ready to run), yet in reality ever more

      thoughtful, philosophical even, and ever less ready to see the

      people around him as ciphers – even when those people belong to

      nonhuman species. Moist the Liberator, who'd'a thunk it?

      Also, I have always enjoyed Moist and Adora Belle as an odd couple,

      but in Raising Steam, they are less odd and more of a team, and it

      would seem that they are influencing each other – "Spike" seems

      more playful now, whereas Moist is becoming more likely to engage in

      passionate activism. Go figure.

      Another delightful surprise comes in the form of Sir Harry King. I

      had begun to grow fond of Harry as he was presented to us in The

      World of Poo, and now I find myself very much in his corner. From

      King of the Golden River to King of the Railways, he remains the

      square-dealing hard man of yore, but time and wealth (and a very

      determinedly social-climbing wife) have mellowed him just enough to

      make him fascinatingly layered. As is so often the case with

      Pratchett's characters, a man who was once a walking cliche is now a

      living, breathing, real person. Speaking of which, it's great to see

      Vetinari mellowing as well (for a very unusual value of "mellowing")

      without losing any of his power. Age has not withered nor tyrant-ing

      staled him, and we get treated to a gem of a scene in Wilinus Pass

      as proof of both. Oh, and am I the only one who sees more and more

      of the implied Terry-and-Rob dynamic in the Vetinari-and-Drumknott


      Yet another welcome return: Rhys, the Low King, the conservative but

      above all honourable Albrecht ("shadow party" personified), and the

      Thing with the Dwarfs (aka Politics and Terrorism Stuff). A number

      of years have passed since the events of The Fifth Elephant, so I

      applaud the continuation of that story thread. Oh, and hurrah for

      yet more development on the "Sam Vimes has a superpower and he's

      gonna use it" front!

      If any main character in Raising Steam seems relatively shallow to

      me, it is Ned Simnel. But then, he's an engineer, and engineers are

      not a breed known for lyrical, romantic personalities, hmm?

      Furthermore, I don't think he *needs* to be lyrical and romantic,

      because his passion for steam power and his almost-obsessive love

      for first and finest engine "Iron Girder" are the parts that matter

      here, and they are well drawn (did I say "*almost* obsessive"?


      Themes in Raising Steam include that of the self-made man, or

      perhaps that should be self-made entity; social mobility and the

      desire for self-betterment; change versus resistance to change, in

      society and in politics; emancipation and equality of species and

      sexes; and of course, evolution, both of the Discworld societies and

      technologies and of the more personal-growth sort.

      As a side note, I am a bit sad that there's no more information

      about The Undertaking. Then again, presumably the unexpected arrival

      of the Age of Steam has put back, or at least changed, that

      timetable. The centre continues to hold, and Vetinari is ever a

      master of long-distance temporal vision and creative thinking.

      As is in keeping with the gradual changes in Discworld novels,

      Raising Steam has fewer laugh-out-loud moments but masses of laugh-

      in-delight ones. I have read it through three times now and feel

      satisfied every time. No, the story doesn't ever reach the heights

      of breathtaking tension that keep Night Watch as my favourite

      Discworld book – but I already feel an overwhelming affection for

      Raising Steam that Night Watch could never match in my heart.




      Some great video snippets here of Sir Pterry talking about

      themes and subjects and history as they relate to his writing of

      Raising Steam:

      "It's about the romance of the railway. It grabbed us as soon as it

      turned up, and is still here. It's the fascination of steam, a giant

      permanently conquered."

      "I fell in love with Iron Girder. Dick Simnel built her, and in my

      mind's eye she became every railway engine from the Trevithick...

      to, I don't know, the Royal Scot..."

      "I thought it was time to raise steam on Discworld, but better than

      that, I thought it would be fun..."


      4.2 REVIEWS

      Reviewed by Rebekah Lunt for the British Fantasy Society:

      "As always with anything written by Terry Pratchett, this is a

      fantastically entertaining story. In all honesty, as with most of

      the other 39 novels, you could probably read this one as a stand-

      alone story. However, having recently started reading them all again

      from the very first novel – The Colour of Magic, I can't imagine

      why you would want to do yourself out of the pleasure of full

      immersion in this world. One of the extremely pleasurable aspects of

      this story in the 30th anniversary year is to revisit familiar

      characters and places alongside the new ones, and look out for all

      the name checks and in-jokes.

      "An extra treat, and the real beauty of the book, is the way in

      which it expresses and translates the emotional power of steam

      trains for converts and non-believers alike. I love steam trains

      anyway but this book made me feel a little of what I imagine first

      experiences of steam trains must have been like..."


      Reviewed by Jonathan Wright for SFX Magazine:

      "Whereas the first few books were essentially powered by the

      lampooning of fantasy tropes, which produced a new kind of magic

      unique to Pratchett's work, the Discworld has changed. A medieval

      world has morphed into what's essentially a 19th century society,

      albeit one where humans co-exist with such people – and they're

      presented as fully rounded people, it's important to note – as

      trolls, dwarves, golems and now even geeky goblins. Raising Steam

      marks a completion, of sorts, of this process, because such a world

      can't rely on the magic of the Middle Ages for its forward

      momentum. No, it needs a new power source: coal-fired steam. Step

      forward Dick Simnel. It would be easy to mistake Simnel for a

      straightforward, even simple lad, but that's to overlook the fact

      that he's an engineer. And not just a glorified blacksmith, but

      someone who's learnt the mysteries of the sliding rule, an

      innovator, a lad with a shed who knows how to use it..."


      Reviewed by Dan Lewis for the bookseller Waterstones blog:

      "Raising Steam feels a much more expansive read than previous books

      in the series. Indeed, it can often feel like events are passing by

      at some speed as you hurtle along the narrative rails. There's a

      sense that there's no time for dawdling, with a greater degree of

      reported action than in stories such as Night Watch or Snuff, where

      the narrative feels almost to take place in realtime. Here,

      background detail – such as Moist's to-ing and fro-ing as he

      attempts to negotiate the railway's route with resistant

      landowners – quickly shifts out of view leaving room for slower

      explorations of political intrigues and cunning plans. These shifts

      in speed allow Pratchett to pack in glimpses of far more characters

      than he might otherwise have been able – which will bring smiles

      of delight to fans. Lu-Tze, Rincewind, Ponder Stibbons, Nobby and

      Colon, Drumknott, William de Worde, Sam Vimes, The Low King and

      Diamond King of Trolls – they're all there, if only for a moment. 

      There's a real excitement in reading the book, wondering not only

      what will happen next but which old friend will pop up..."


      Raising Steam has also been reviewed in The Times by Andrew 


      Unfortunately the review is only available to paying subscribers,

      but to judge by the opening paragraphs in the free preview, the

      review is an approving one:

      "This is Terry Pratchett's 40th foray into Discworld and, despite

      that productivity and the author's widely-publicised diagnosis of

      early-onset Alzheimer's disease, his creation hasn't run out of

      steam. Indeed, 30 years and around 75 million copies in, Sir Terry

      appears to be expanding his scope. "In this latest novel, Ankh-

      Morpork, Discworld's principal city, continues its evolution from

      quasi-medieval settlement to bustling industrial metropolis, and

      over a wider canvas, and longer time-frame than previous books..."





      In The Guardian:

      "It's funny that way, Doctor Who, it's been such a part of the DNA

      of Britain for so many years now that even if you didn't watch it

      religiously, you probably know more about it than you think. Daleks,

      Cybermen, bigger on the inside – everyone knows what you're

      talking about. And it was always a safe option for Saturday

      afternoon tea with the family. Doctors came and went, but for 26

      years it was part of this country's shared heritage and memory.

      Anybody my age or younger has been informed by it, moulded by it, at

      least to some degree. For so many during those years it was their

      first introduction to science fiction, and its influence is far-

      reaching. Generations of authors, screenwriters, actors, dreamers

      found their escape in the wonky corridors and Styrofoam monsters of

      this enduring institution... the recent actors have been wonderful,

      drawing that line back to the grumpy old man who kicked it all off

      50 years ago. And the Daleks are still scary, which isn't something

      you can say about many half-century-old alien designs..."



      In SFX magazine issue 242, currently available, there is an


      "Even though Raising Steam, the 40th novel (yes, 40th!) in

      Pratchett's Discworld series is now in bookshops, the legendary

      author says he's not ready for retirement just yet. What's stopping

      him from hanging up his pen? A good idea for a book it seems. 'Some

      part of me is telling me that there is no one who will actually say,

      apart from my agent actually, that I shouldn't do it, but suddenly

      you think, 'I must do another book for next year!' A little voice

      says 'You don't really have to if it's going to be a difficulty.' On

      the other hand, if I find a really snazzy plot, that will send me on

      fire and away we go. Don't worry,' he jokes. 'I don't fancy dying




      From This is Somerset:

      "Terry Pratchett, creator of the Discworld series, and Tommy Banner

      from The Wurzels, are among those who have backed the 'Time for a

      Story' campaign by sharing their favourite memory of reading a

      children's story with a loved one. Sharing a children's book can

      create some of the most magical moments of both childhood and

      parenting. The 'Time for a Story' campaign aims to get people

      talking about these special moments and thinking about adoption.

      Members of the public are also being encouraged to post their own

      fondest moments of being read to or reading to their child on the

      organisation's Facebook page...

      "Author Terry Pratchett said: 'I think the first book my wife Lyn

      and I read to our daughter Rhianna was The Maggie B by Irene Haas,

      which she greatly enjoyed, and she had two library tickets of her

      own before she could read. Later she came to love Tove Jansson's

      books, as I had copies of every one'..."



      The Onionesque publication "The Evening Harold" has a delightful


      "Britain has been plunged into an emigration crisis as newly

      published figures reveal that no fewer than seven out of ten of us

      have applied to leave the country to live and work in Ankh-Morpork.

      Ankh-Morpork is the largest city on the Discworld which some say is

      a fictional realm created by Sir Terry Pratchett but to a great many

      people is as real as Tamriel, The Shire and Gotham City i.e.

      completely. Harold resident Gary Thorne is one of many villagers

      hoping for a new start in a city described by Sir Terry as being 'as

      full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a

      cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colourful as a bruise and

      as full of activity, industry, bustle and sheer exuberant busyness

      as a dead dog on a termite mound.' 'It's a no-brainer for me,' Thorn

      said. 'Sure in Ankh-Morpork there's no democracy or flood protection

      and there there'll always be a chance that the dragon of unhappiness

      could fly up my bottom but there's also no scripted reality shows or

      music that makes me feel old. Plus, I'm looking forward to meeting

      the ladies from the Seamstresses' Guild, if you know what I mean,

      hur, hur, hur...' Pensioner Tom Stalling knows exactly why he's

      going to Ankh-Morpork. 'Two words,' he told us, 'steam trains.

      They've got 'em and we don't...'"



      In The Telegraph, Tim Martin presents capsule descriptions of Death

      (and the Death of Rats, and Susan), Granny Weatherwax, Vetinari,

      Nanny Ogg, Vimes, The Librarian, Moist von Lipwig, Tiffany Aching,

      C.M.O.T. Dibbler, and the Luggage:

      "PERHAPS THE GREATEST — that is, perhaps the greatest character in

      all Discworld, in a personal as well as an eschatological sense..."

      "Crotchety, eminently no-nonsense (the trolls call her 'She Who Must

      Be Avoided') and one of the prime exponents of Pratchett's number-

      one virtue of common sense, Granny Weatherwax is another of the

      tough thinkers with hearts of gold who stalk through Pratchett's

      fiction and are, one suspects, an important factor in its endless


      "The kind of benign despot who would make Machiavelli faint with

      fear and envy, Vetinari presides over Pratchett's capital city-state

      of Ankh-Morpork without ever needing to raise his voice..."

      To read the full article, go to:



      By Thomas Powell on Badger Online:

      "Sir Terry's air was one of a grandfather addressing a loving but

      impudent horde of grandchildren. In the same flippant tone no doubt

      familiar to many in the audience, he batted away the allegedly most

      common question he's asked, regarding where he draws his

      inspiration. His insistent answer, 'It just turns up!'.

      "Ultimately, the trio proved very forthcoming – treating the

      assembled audience to an exclusive preview of Pratchett's next

      novel, Raising Steam, due to be published in November. Rob Wilkins'

      poor attempt at a northern accent did little to dampen the palpable

      sense of excitement as he read the first chapter; only exceeded by

      that which followed Rod Brown's announcements regarding the slew of

      Discworld screen adaptations under development. Brown gushed like a

      new father about the upcoming series The Watch, featuring the

      familiar Ankh-Morpork police force, including fan favourite Sam

      Vimes... Brown also proudly proclaimed that two Discworld novels are

      also being adapted, Good Omens and Dodger. Hinting that Mort might

      also follow..."



      "Angels, Faeries and Femmes Fatales: Dadd to Discworld", currently

      on display at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery in Bournemouth, features

      the art of Paul Kidby:

      "This exhibition explores the Victorian obsession with the

      supernatural and the spirit world. Featuring the work of renowned

      artists, Paul Kidby, illustrator of the internationally bestselling

      'Discworld' novels, and 2012 Turner Prize nominee Spartacus

      Chetwynd. Many of Paul's artworks are for sale..."

      The museum "holds collections of international status and reflects

      the Victorian fascination with world cultures" and is "just two

      minutes walk from Bournemouth Pier and less than five minutes walk

      from the town's main shopping and commercial hub".

      When: the exhibition will run through to 9th March 2014.

      Venue: Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, East Cliff Promenade,

      Bournemouth BH1 3AA UK (phone 01202 451858)

      Times: All year round from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday and Bank

      Holiday Mondays. 

      Tickets: free admission from 1st October until 31st March. Donations


      Here are some lovely photos from the exhibit, taken by Kirsty

      Stonell Walker...

      Cupid meets Rob Anybody:


      Kidby's fabulous bust of Granny Weatherwax:



      "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.



      ISBNs, for your information: 

      MORT is 9781473200104 and REAPER MAN is 9781473200111. 

      [Editor's note: I have received my hardcover of Mort, and it's



      "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


      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:




      "Rhianna Pratchett, daughter of Discworld creator Sir Terry, and a

      successful writer herself, working on the recent BioShock and Tomb

      Raider games, among others, has announced via her twitter that she's

      adapting The Wee Free Men, the first in the young adult series of

      Discworld books featuring apprentice witch Tiffany Aching."

      In a word, "Squeeeeeeeeeeee!!!"




      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."




      By David Kidman for FATEA Records:

      "One might be tempted perhaps to summarise Wintersmith as 'the

      legends of folk-rock take on the legends of Terry Pratchett', For,

      while Wintersmith isn't exactly a concept album as such, it does

      take its inspiration (and much of its narrative import) from the

      third of Terry's 'Tiffany Aching' books (the series of novels within

      the Discworld canon which follow the growth of the young trainee

      witch of that name), although some knowledge of (or sympathy with)

      which (and witch!) is not necessarily a pre-requisite, since the

      songs within by and large stand on their own. Having said that,

      Wintersmith's particular backdrop, that of ancient rituals and

      secret folk dances, is of course entirely apposite, both as a

      credible and matching stamping-ground for Steeleye sensibilities,

      and as suitable subject-matter for a prog-folk-rock kind of musical

      treatment... The powerhouse clatter of The Dark Morris Song (and its

      stick-wielding counterpart Tune), together with the disc's spooky

      Overture, certainly set the scene strongly, in the approved manner,

      with stirring, stomping yet mysterious skirling swathes of sound and

      a typically evocative lyric..."





      The Knebworth Amateur Dramatic Society was expecting to present

      their production of Guards! Guards! this week. Unfortunately, the

      company's sound and light man had a heart attack a few days ago, so

      the performances have been postponed. But luckily, Graham (the

      sound/light tech) is on the mend. KATS are hoping to present the

      play in January, so keep an eye on their website and we will update

      you as soon as a new date has been confirmed.



      "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. 




      The St Ursula Players will be presenting their production of

      Maskerade next month.

      When: 4th – 7th December 2013

      Venue: Newman Hall, Grange Court Road, Bristol, BS9 4DR

      Time: 7.30pm

      Tickets: £8 adults, £4 children; parties of 10 or more, £7 per

      ticket. Tickets are available from the box office, or via a

      printable postal form on the St Ursula Players' website (below), "or

      take your chance on the door. But they are selling fast!" To ring

      the box office: 0117 962 4431



      In the Bury Free Press:

      "Stephen Briggs' adaptation of the Discworld novel brilliantly

      condenses its plot, humour and anarchic logic. Theatre Royal Young

      Company then gave it all the life and fun Pratchett gives his books.

      Many of the cast showed superb comic timing, especially Sam Rees as

      the dragon summoning Lupine Wonse. Asha Ray was so spot on as Lady

      Sybil Ramkin that you forgot she was probably less than half the age

      of the formidable miniature dragon breeding dame. Perhaps David

      Bolwell was a little lanky to be the muscular Carrot, who Pratchett

      modelled on Liam Neeson, but that did not seem to matter..."


      About the company:




      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@...

      Some upcoming Pratchett Partisans events of note:

      Hogswatch Dinner

      "Join fellow Pratchett lovers and celebrate a slightly belated

      Hogswatch with a lovely dinner and great drinks. Wagaya is a

      Japanese restaurant with a huge selection of meat and non-meat share

      meals (and some set main meals), beers and cocktails (including

      nonalcoholic). You order using a touchpad at the table and pay at

      the end of the meal. They do not split bills. I suggest we divide

      the food bill by the number of people so every one pays the same

      amount (prob about $40 each). In regards to drinks, we can probably

      get an itemised bill and figure out who drank what."

      When: Saturday, December 7, 2013

      Venue: Wagaya, 315 Brunswick St Fortitude Valley, 4006, Brisbane

      ("we will be in a private room under the name 'Ula'")

      Time: 5:30 PM

      Picnic in the park

      "Come along for a family friendly chill-out in the park. Please

      bring along some (DW themed if possible) nibbles to share, and a

      blanket or two. Drinks (non alcoholic) will be provided. We will

      also have a few fun activities and games."

      When: Sunday, December 15, 2013

      Venue: Roma Street Parkland, 1 Parkland Blv, Brisbane ("We will

      probably be in 'sunset glade'")

      Time: 12:00 PM  


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


      "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,




      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 5th December 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 6th December 2013.


      The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, " London's Premier

      Unofficially Official Discworld Group", will be from 7pm on Monday

      9th December 2013 at the Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London

      W2 1JQ. Note the new web address:


      For more information email BrokenDrummers@... or 



      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 2nd December 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 2nd December 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


      Otherwise message Krystel directly at khewett@...


      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@... – or visit their Facebook page:




      Blogger Olga Godim reviews Night Watch:

      "Unlike most other Discworld novels, this is not a funny book.

      It's exploratory and philosophical and delves deep into the

      natures of leadership and decency, courage and tolerance... The

      story is seemingly slow, rooting for a wide panorama and deep

      understanding instead of a lighter mockery, as in many of

      Pratchett's earlier novels. Nothing is galloping or hurtling

      ahead. The events are gradually expanding, rolling forward like an

      unstoppable avalanche. When the plot gathers momentum, nothing can

      stop it. Of all the City Watch books I've read so far, this one

      made the best and most profound psychological portrait of Sam Vimes.

      Finally, after several earlier volumes, I could see the man in all

      his complexity, and my respect for him, high already, soared..."


      The Bookwitch is back with a loving review of Raising Steam and a

      rightfully angry backward look at the Beeching Axe of Roundworld:

      "All Terry Pratchett's books are loveable in their own way, but I

      have a special fondness for ones about my kind of topics. Writing.

      Post Office-ing. And now trains. Raising Steam has let me experience

      the birth of railways, and what a wonderful feeling that is! (Death

      to that Beeching person. Actually, Death is too good for him.)

      Instead of closing lines and getting rid of stations and services,

      here we have the complete and utter opposite, starting with young

      Dick Simnel, who knows about the sliding rule, and who saw his

      father die in some unexpected pink steam. He builds himself a

      prototype steam engine – the train kind – and goes off to Ankh-

      Morpork in search of, not so much his fortune, but a welcome for his

      beloved Iron Girder. I'm guessing Dick is Discworld's

      Yorkshireman, judging by his speech and the way he dresses. He's

      lovely. Very straight. Even a scoundrel like Moist von Lipwig has to

      admire his honest ways. (Though I'm not sure about that smooth-

      talking Moist.) Eventually, seemingly all men are seduced by the

      steam engines Dick builds. It's pathetic. Or would be, were they

      not such great things to be seduced by..."


      Blogger and writer Martin Crookall's long, in-depth critique of

      Raising Steam:

      "Raising Steam has a curious feel to it. It's very different from

      the 'usual' Discworld book, in that it is focussed upon its

      theme, almost to the exclusion of its characters. Each book is

      gifted with a clear and present central idea – it is part of

      Pratchett's immense skill that he has found so many distinct and

      individual 'abouts' to build a story upon – but in all cases

      prior to this, the story has played out through the central

      characters, whose fates and fortunes are bound up in the resolution

      of whatever threat may be about to unbalance the Discworld, or some

      discrete part of it... instead of translating a Roundworld notion

      into Discworld terms, what Pratchett has done is to bolt the Railway

      in the very form we know it to be, on top of his fiction. Discworld

      has now had the Industrial Revolution, and just as that changed our

      world out of all recognition, so too is Discworld changed. And the

      thing about change is that it doesn't have to be for the better,

      or for the worse: it is Change, and it can't be undone...

      Discworld in this book, acquires a concreteness that cannot help but

      change the nature of the books... In a way, it's only a Moist von

      Lipwig book because he's primus inter pares: whilst he's the

      only one whose head we really get into, the book is as much about

      the Patrician, Harry King (of the Golden River), Dick Simnel, the

      goblin Of the Twilight the Darkness, Rhys Rhysson, Low King of the

      Dwarfs and Sam Vines [sic] as it is about Moist..."


      ...while blogger Laurence Ivil aka The Electrospank's review is also

      long, and very well-written. Some extracts:

      "In Raising Steam, our hero, Dick Simnel, a rural self-taught

      engineer, has discovered how to harness steam. In taking his engine

      – Iron Girder, to Ankh-morpork at the centre of the disc, he has

      begun a chain reaction of events in which the familiar faces of

      Harry King, Lord Vetinari and others return to shape and profit from

      the wonders of technological progress. As this triumph makes

      inexorable tracks, we watch in awe as Pratchett's pen plays with

      landowners and surveyors, rent and taxation, swamps and bridges,

      commuters and tourists. Who else could yarn these tropes so

      effortlessly and with such thrill?

      "Raising Steam invites us to float with the zeitgeist as the advent

      of the railway threatens to derail a fragile peace maintained by

      Lord Vetinari, the responsible tyrant, whose Watch of werewolves

      often look the other way, respond with merciful force when necessary

      and send miscreants to the dungeons for creative kitten punishment

      if needs must. Civis ankhmorporkianus sum – In Discworld, every

      man, child, dwarf, troll, werewolf, vampire, zombie and goblin is

      free. But, for how long...

      "Raising Steam is, without doubt, a fantastic story. It is also an

      example of something very, very important. Raising Steam, much like

      other Discworld novels is rife with satirical parallels of very

      current social, political and scientific issues. Golem Housekeepers

      and Goblin hairdressers benefit from a growing level of social

      equality, female Dwarves still pretend that they are men if they

      wish to gain respect in their communities and the vampirical press

      (quite literally!) hang onto Dick Simnel's every word in an

      attempt to derail his fantastic progress. A passing aside to the

      slothful linguistic learning curve of the English (Morporkians),

      refusing to master any language but their own, the Low King avoiding

      bloodshed and mastering politics even when others hold great value

      in the former. As we all know, people fear change...

      "Raising Steam is, quite simply, a truly magnificent addition to

      this incredible series. It may be the 40th entry, yet it bears no

      indication of being the last..."


      Blogger Jeannette Porter points out that the people of the Discworld

      are indeed people, fully realised and worth caring about:

      "Creator Terry Pratchett has a gift for letting dialogue and pithy

      description tango together, creating a 'you are there'

      sensation. It's a good trick, considering 'there' doesn't,

      hasn't, and probably will never exist, in the mundane, Roundworld

      sense... Ah, the Patrician. Libertarians and fascists alike pine for

      his Roundworld analogue, as liberals yearn for a real-life Josiah

      Bartlett... And Discworld contains yet more lethal characters.  In

      fact, it contains the ultimate lethality: the anthromorphic

      personification of Death, who speaks IN CAPITAL LETTERS and likes

      cats. Death (skeleton, scythe, black robe, the whole bit) appears in

      just about every Discworld book and is the focus of at least two of

      them... There is Gaspode the talking dog, Nanny Ogg, Granny

      Weatherwax, Lu Tze the History Monk, Susan Sto Helit (Death's

      daughter), Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully and the faculty of Unseen

      University (motto: Nunc id vides, nunc ne vides), the Auditors,

      zombie Reg Shoe, the Luggage and (mostly) reformed con man Moist von

      Lipwig.  And those are just some of the characters Discworld readers

      see repeatedly and come to love. Really, they're not

      characters—they're people. Even the trolls and dwarves and

      anthromorphic personifications..."


      Blogger Honya thoroughly enjoyed Dodger:

      "Dodger is truly an excellent historical novel. Terry Pratchett

      brings both the place and the people of early Victorian London to

      life vividly. There is a rich amount of historical detail, down to

      the slang that permeates the story. Moreover, the writing flows

      well, is both exciting and easy to read, yet is rich in expression,

      full of fresh, unexpected turns of phrase and vivid metaphors. The

      characters themselves are equally vibrant–colorful, complex, not

      always sure who they are themselves, yet carrying on nevertheless.

      Finally, I appreciate that Pratchett takes a time and people group

      that had very little hope and portrays them honestly, but still

      provides a story that is neither grim nor ultimately hopeless..."


      In an uncredited review on the Twitbookclub site, a blogger was

      delighted by Unseen Academicals:

      "I was worried that I wouldn't get a lot of the references or tied

      in histories of Unseen Academicals. My worries were put to rest of

      course by Pratchett's clever way of treating the book as -almost-

      a novel on its own. He adds useful anecdotes where needed and adds

      just the right amount of character building for you to get the feel

      of his characters without having to read any of the numerous

      prequels to this one. I myself instantly felt affection for those

      crazy old nutters at the Unseen University, their 'Old Boy'

      mentality and 'delegation of delegation duties' reminds me all

      too well of grammar school days where the teachers still dressed in

      'bat cloaks.'

      "The fact this book was about Football didn't deter me one bit, as

      his perfect balance of humour and satire made situations both on the

      pitch and off make me snigger to myself loud enough to make people

      worry about my mental health. Not only football, but pokes at said

      Old Boy ways and the world of fashion had me grinning and devouring

      the pages as I went..."


      The gloriously ginger allmyrandomnotes enthuses over Monstrous


      "Unlike some of the series that are focused on recurring characters,

      the main characters in Monstrous Regiment are standalone. Some of

      the familiar Ankh-Morpork crowd (for those familiar with the series)

      is there, but mainly as supporting characters. Polly, the main

      character from the recruits, is one determined girl exhibiting a

      whole lot of common sense, and sergeant Jackrum is another one of

      those flawed, loud, larger than life Pratchett characters that I

      find brilliant and entertaining. From the small country with a

      ridiculously restrictive religion, to the war that they couldn't

      win but were fighting out of pride, to the girls that end up finding

      themselves on the quest, it is a very entertaining story brilliantly

      tackling in a satirical way serious topics. However, the serious

      topics it tackles do not take anything away from the sheer

      enjoyableness of the prose...."


      Blogger Andrew Knighton is back with a post about books he will

      always keep:

      "Of all the writers who have been active in my lifetime, Pratchett

      is the one whose wonderful work I most want to pass on to future

      generations. The tone of these stories may have shifted hugely over

      time, but I still love them all, from the weird satire of Colour of

      Magic to the heart-warming philosophising of his latest works.

      I've read half at least twice, Pyramids many more times than that,

      and Small Gods is one of my favourite reflections on religion. The

      man's a treasure, and I treasure his books... I'm not a big

      keeper of books as objects. But if anyone harms my signed Pratchett

      there will be trouble..."


      Blogger Nicolle goes postal for Going Postal:

      "In one sentence, I would describe this book as a wonderful creation

      myth for the post office. A convicted swindler, Moist von Lipwig, is

      offered a second chance at life as the Postmaster of Ankh-Morpork,

      and we follow him on his journey from continuously trying to figure

      out a means of escape to figuring out ways to reestablish to the

      post office to its former glory. The enemy is the Grand Truck clacks

      communication (a form of text messaging) service. As a person who

      loves to write letters and creating mail art, I loved this story. At

      times, I really felt myself wishing that I could step into this



      Teacher, marathoner and blogger J.E. aka runninginmyhead came to

      Discworld via the clicks;

      "Normally, I read the book before the movie and then spend the

      length of the feature critiquing it. But, to this point, I was

      unaware of the beauty and glory that is the Disc. That changed the

      following weekend. While browsing our local bookstore (a chain, the

      last local closed a year before), I decided to track down the book

      upon which the film was based. The book is superb and remains one of

      my favorite Discworld novels. However, I couldn't get enough. I

      began to buy a book a week, soon accumulating the entire series

      (except for Last Hero and Raising Steam, which was released today),

      including the so-called 'children's books' (which aren't

      just for kids, in case you didn't know). Today, they occupy a

      prominent space in my personal library, with Good Omens being my

      most recent purchase..."


      The blogger known only as Choosing talks about how Tiffany Aching's

      "this I choose to do" mantra, in Wintersmith, has been a major life


      "These words have had a powerful impact on me when I first read

      them, and they still have. They have become my personal mantra, in

      big things and in small ones. Life is about choices. Choices like

      staying home with the kids, doing diapers and laundry and dishes –

      yes, and being with them while they grow, show them the world, show

      them the words, help those wonderful minds and souls unfold. But

      also little choices like what to put first on a normal weekday

      morning, a chore or a passion. Sometimes, when I am doing things

      that are boring or annoying, I remind myself. This I choose to do. I

      do it now. I could do something else, but I am doing this now for a

      reason. No one forces my hand, I could stop any second. But I choose

      to do it. And therefore there is no need to feel anger or boredom. I

      am fully aware that there are a lot of things in life that we cannot

      choose – things that present themselves to us wether we like them

      or not. Life is full of moments that look like we do not have a

      choice at all. But I do believe that there is always something we

      can choose: our reaction to these things. We might not be able to

      change the things themselves, but if we stand still for a moment we

      might realise that we are not really forced into reacting in a

      certain way, even if it feels like this. We can choose to get angry

      – or not. We can choose to be afraid – or not..."


      ...and finally, blogger reuoq gives high praise to The Long War:

      "I really loved the extra chance to explore this world (or these

      worlds, I suppose is more accurate), and I can't wait until the

      next book comes out, apparently next year. I did get a bit confused

      by the plot towards the end, not sure where it was heading, and I

      was left wondering what had just happened at one point, right near

      the end where all the climaxes happened. Part of this may have been

      confusion at the three or four story strands happening

      simultaneously (there are two whole new sets of characters

      introduced who travel across the worlds in different directions for

      different reasons). Part of it may have been that I was expecting

      more of an actual 'war' to happen during the book, whereas it

      didn't seem to turn out that way in the end, the word being more

      metaphorical. A little bit more streamlining of the plot would have

      been nice. I definitely think people should get into this series, in

      any case..."




      Fabulous retro poster for the new railway, by Paul Childs:


      The Wyrd Sisters, ably depicted by the Guisbrough Theatre Club:


      Sir Pterry with the very first copy of Raising Steam, hot off the



      An excellent Luggage birthday cake by WOSSNAME's own Sir Jase:


      This fan-art by Sixteentons is interesting because the artist


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