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WOSSNAME -- main issue -- September 2011

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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion September 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 9, Post 2)
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2011
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      September 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 9, Post 2)
      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, Pitt the Elder, Steven D'Aprano
      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
      Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
      World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare
      Copyright 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion



      05) ASB HEARTS TP!
      20) CLOSE



      "Grandad was superstitious about books. He thought that if you had
      enough of them around, education leaked out, like radioactivity."

      – Johnny and the Dead, p. 46, Doubleday hardcover edition

      "Not doing any magic at all was the chief task of wizards – not
      'not doing magic' because they couldn't do magic, but not doing
      magic when they could do and didn't. Any ignorant fool can fail to
      turn someone else into a frog. You have to be clever to refrain
      from doing it when you know how easy it is."

      – Going Postal, pp. 142-143, Doubleday hardcover edition



      Vorbis wouldn't like it...

      Readers in the USA are now in the fine days of Banned Books Week
      (BBW), an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read and the
      importance of the USA Constitution's famous First Amendment. BBW
      occurs during the last week of September and is sponsored by the
      American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation
      for Free Expression, the American Library Association, American
      Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American
      Publishers, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, National Coalition
      Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN
      American Center, and the National Association of College Stores,
      and is also endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of

      This year the event runs from 24th September to 1st October.

      A main feature of Banned Books Week in 2011 is the "internet read-
      out", which among other venues features a dedicated YouTube channel
      with videos like this one:


      ...and The American Library Association's puppet-based video on the


      "Intellectual freedom — the freedom to access information and
      express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered
      unorthodox or unpopular — provides the foundation for Banned Books
      Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of
      unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and
      access them. The books featured during Banned Books Week have been
      targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were
      banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not
      banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers,
      booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the
      library collections..."


      "Booksellers around the country are responding to the Internet read-
      out that is the focus of this year's Banned Books Week, Sept.
      24-Oct. 1. Bookstores of all sizes are planning events during which
      they will create videos of customers reading from their favorite
      banned books. 'We are really pleased with the response from
      bookstores. In addition to the Tattered Cover Book Store and other
      stalwart supporters of Banned Books Week, we have been contacted by
      stores that are planning their first BBW events,' Chris Finan,
      president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
      (ABFFE), said... Two kinds of videos will be posted on the special
      YouTube channel created for the read-out: readings from banned books
      and eyewitness accounts of book challenges..."


      Support Banned Books Week, and here's to a future of Freedom of

      Also, I'd like to draw your attention to an unbanned plug for "star
      of L-space and devoted/accomplished Pratchett essayist" Stacie Hanes
      who's written a nice piece over at Locus about "books about space":


      Oh, and there's some English fantasy author whose next novel is
      published on the 13th of October...

      It's a bumper fun issue this time. On with the show!

      – Annie Mac




      After numerous enquiries I would like to make it clear that although
      I am indeed working on my autobiography, the book 'Terry Pratchett –
      The Spirit of Fantasy' is not officially authorised in any way. My
      personal account of my life is well under way, including all the
      saucy bits and lies I can now tell because the people who know
      otherwise are now dead :)

      Further more, just to clarify, due to our punishing writing schedule
      neither Rob or myself will be attending the Irish Discworld
      Convention this year.

      All the best.

      (signed) Terry Pratchett

      To view the original of this message on the web, go to PJSM Prints:



      04) SNUFF NEWS


      September's 13th-of-the-month Facebook Snuff goodie was an
      announcement of a competition. Unfortunately, it was a rather short
      competition, lasting only a few days:

      "Win tickets to the Launch Party of Snuff! The Countdown Has Begun!
      On the 19th October 2011 a very special party will be taking place
      aboard a paddle steamer on the Thames in London. It will be the
      launch party of a very special book. Snuff, the 39th Discworld Novel
      by Sir Terry Pratchett. We have two tickets to give away to this
      event where Sir Terry will be the guest of honour! All you have to
      do is answer the following question, email your answer with your
      name and address to: discworld@... and the
      winner will be picked at random out of those with the correct answer
      on Friday 16th September at 10am (GMT) and announced on this page."


      (For the record, the question was: "What was Terry Pratchett's first
      published short story called?" The winner's name hasn't been posted
      yet as of this time – Ed.)


      Waterstone's Salisbury is in the middle of a promotion called "39
      Days of Discworld". Each day, the first person to pre-order Snuff
      in-store or by telephone will win a free copy of that day's featured
      Discworld book. Each book (paperback only) features the original
      artwork on the cover.

      If the day's winning order is via phone, the free book will be sent
      with the customer's copy of Snuff when published. Only one free book
      per person is allowed, so don't get overexcited...


      4.3 PRE-REVIEWS

      Publishers Weekly! And starred, which is always a good thing:

      "Pratchett's 39th Discworld novel (after 2010's I Shall Wear
      Midnight) brings back fan favorite Sam Vimes, the cynical yet
      extraordinarily honorable Ankh-Morpork City Watch commander also
      known (if unenthusiastically) as His Grace Sir Samuel, the Duke of
      Ankh. Vimes faces an onerous task: two weeks off in the country at
      his wife's family estate. It's not the thought of spending time with
      his beloved Sybil or precocious six-year-old Young Sam that bothers
      him; it's just that a copper can't stop being a copper. Fortunately,
      even in this conservative hamlet, there's plenty of skulduggery to
      investigate, beginning with the brutal murder of a goblin girl. With
      the help of untried local constable Feeney Upshot and gentleman's
      gentleman Willikens[sic], Vimes takes on a fiendish murderer as well
      as the case for (in)human rights and social justice in this lively
      outing, complete with sly shout-outs to Jane Austen and gritty
      police procedurals."


      Jennifer Obloy in the San Francisco Examiner:

      "Those familiar with the Discworld series have a penchant for comic
      fantasy, sparkling wit, and a desire to lock many of the greatest
      authors in the world in the same room just to see what will happen
      (J.R.R. Tolkien, William Shakespeare, and H.P. Lovecraft to name a
      few). Because of the format of the novels, most of the books are
      accessible at any point in the somewhat chronological history of
      Discworld's biggest city, Ankh-Morpork. That said, there is all the
      more reason to anticipate the 39th installment of Pratchett's
      Discworld. Snuff will center on Sam Vimes: a (generally) straight-
      laced Commander of Ankh-Morpork's Watch, an equivalent of the police
      force. Finally able to go on holiday with his wife, Vimes soon
      learns that crime never takes a day off..."


      Carol Schneck in Good Reads:

      "Pratchett's incomparable sense of humor, his love for humanity –
      and on Discworld, I'm using that word loosely – in spite of its
      flaws, and his brilliant use of language are just a few of the
      reasons that Pratchett, his novels, and his unforgettable characters
      are the objects of great devotion by his many fans. In Snuff, Sam
      Vimes, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, takes a vacation in
      the country, far outside his comfort zone, with his wife Sybil and
      Young Sam. Anywhere Vimes goes, mayhem is sure to follow. Vimes
      discovers something deeply wrong in the countryside surrounding
      Ramkin Hall, and when someone tries to frame him for murder, he
      knows he's on the right track to catching those responsible. I loved


      Kathleen in Good Reads:

      "In my opinion Sir Terry Pratchett can do no wrong, and I know that
      his fans the world over will delight in this 39th novel in the
      Discworld saga. Wry humor, quirky unforgettable characters, and a
      plot that hurls itself down the Old Treachery River with the speed
      of a two-cow barge..."


      Michael Jones in Blogcritics:

      "Snuff, the upcoming Discworld novel (his 38th) not only keeps up
      the revival but might just be my favorite book of Pratchett's in
      quite some time. It's certainly my favorite within the last 25 in
      the series... While I may just be singing the praises of this book
      due to the fact that I love Pratchett's writing so and I want to
      share it with the world of Blogcritics, let me assure you that I am
      not lying about how masterful the writing is in this book. Judging
      by the work alone you would never know that this was written by
      someone dealing a personal battle against early Alzheimer's. Strong,
      clear and deftly economical in approach (doubtless few others would
      be as clear-eyed in knowing the grammatical moment for appropriate
      placement of a fart joke during a raging battle on the water where
      wind and rain threaten to tear everything apart), I can only hope
      that the next 38 Discworld books are even half as entertaining as
      this one... Snuff is a very solid entry into the discworld oeuvre
      and if you are a fan at all (or not at all, really) it should not be


      Harriet Klausner in Genregoround:

      "The latest Discworld satire (see I Shall Wear Midnight) is a
      wonderful entry that looks deeply at inalienable human (and other
      species) rights and bigotry to take away those accepted rights.
      Fast-paced Vimes is at his cynical best as he learns life in the
      country means a female woodcutter works with woodies and that rural
      does not mean crime free; as he leads the inquiry into the vicious
      murder of the Goblin Girl. Terry Pratchett provides a strong entry
      filled with social commentary intertwined into an exciting


      Stefan Fergus in Civilian Reader:

      "It feels like an age since Sam Vimes was the focus of a Discworld
      novel, but he is back as the star of Snuff, published in October
      2011. Snuff is the ninth novel in the City Watch/Guards series,
      following on from the excellent Thud! (2005); and it will be the
      39th Discworld book overall... Needless to say, the Guards have
      always been my favourite series-within-the-series, and I can't wait
      for Snuff."


      Remember, Snuff will be out on 13th October, but you can pre-order
      now. Signed copies are now available for pre-order from PJSM Prints:




      At the 2011 Edinburgh International Book Festival, award-winning
      novelist and noted Pratchett apologist A.S. Byatt held forth again
      on our favourite writer. As reported in The Guardian:

      "AS Byatt has declared Terry Pratchett her hero, for having 'caused
      more people to read books than anyone else – because he tells them
      something they want to know, that they can laugh at, and because he
      writes really good English'. Indeed, the author of Possession and,
      most recently, the Man Booker-shortlisted The Children's Book,
      suggested that a free distribution of Pratchett to all 12-year-olds
      would 'have a very good effect' on getting young people to read..."




      Reviewed at loving length by Jerome Wetzel at Blogcritics:

      "While Going Postal is an adaptation of the thirty-third book in
      Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, it is not necessary to have any
      background going in. The books cover a wide variety of characters,
      and there aren't filmed adaptations of most of them, so Going Postal
      is approached as a completely stand alone story. Considering that
      Pratchett's books sell second only to J.K. Rowling in the UK, and
      that this film is a fairly faithful version, it would be advisable
      to watch it... Going Postal is set in a fantasy world, with
      werewolves and wizards and trolls. Yet, magic isn't an essential
      element to the plot of this story specifically, and more informs the
      tone, then sets the pace. This is a welcome, novel idea in an age
      where boy wizards and hunky teen vamps rule the movie theaters and
      television screens. The characters are unique and interesting, and
      many have multiple layers. While there are static villains, others,
      like Lipwig and Vetinari, aren't so easy to figure out. It makes for
      a fascinating tale, and keeps one guessing what will come next...
      All in all, Going Postal is sure to leave quite an impression,
      especially for those brand new to Pratchett's world..."


      Reviewed at Denver, Colorado's KDVR:

      "Terry Pratchett's Going Postal may not have the epic production
      value of, say, The Lord of the Rings films (it was made for
      television after all) but it is a beautifully realized world filled
      with wonderfully quirky characters. Even though the characters are a
      bit on the two dimensional side, they work perfectly in bringing
      Pratchett's biting and satirical humor to life. The cast appear to
      be having a blast with Coyle, Foy and David Suchet (PBS' 'Poirot'
      himself as the villainous Reacher Gilt) really digging in and
      delivering over-the-top fun.

      "Even though the Discworld television mini-series haven't become
      huge mainstream hits, if Going Postal is any indication of their
      quality, they should be something at least sought out on the home
      video market. Going Postal is a light, joyously fun romp that will
      make fans of Pratchett's novel happy and maybe even convert


      Reviewed at DVD Talk by John Sinnott, who – even though he gets much
      of the essential information wrong (Angua is Ankh-Morpork's "chief
      of police", eh?) – is very impressed by the Going Postal experience:

      "Terry Pratchett's [novels] are filled with amusing scenes and ideas
      and this production did a great job of bringing those to life. The
      story isn't an outrageous comedy like The Hangover, rather it's a
      series of cute and accurate send-ups of modern life that will leave
      you smiling for most of the film's running time. I particularly
      enjoyed the whole Victorian-era Internet, the Clacks, and the group
      who try to befuddle the system, self-described clacks-crackers named
      "The Smoking Gnu." The whole subplot on pin collecting is a
      hilarious satire on collecting in general... The actors all do a
      fine job and manage to bring the characters to life without chewing
      the scenery of dramatically overacting, which would be very easy to
      do given the material. The play their parts nicely, especially
      Claire Foy who stands out... one aspect that really brings the novel
      to life however is the sets and scenery. They went to a lot of
      trouble to make the city of Ankh-Morpork looked like a real, lived-
      in city. This attention to detail really paid off and made the show
      much, much better than it otherwise would be..."


      Reviewed at Technorati by Bob Etier:

      "Absurd. Wonderful. Inventive. Ironic. Funny. Daft. Clever. Terry
      Pratchett's Going Postal, an adaptation of a Pratchett Discworld
      novel, is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Made in 2010, this
      British television import nearly defies description, it is that
      original. Sometimes one makes recommendations about films based on
      'If you enjoy...then you'll enjoy...,' but it's difficult to
      think of a movie to which Going Postal compares. However, as I began
      watching the first half, I kept thinking about Sweeney Todd and
      Edward Scissorhands..."


      Reviewed in Now Toronto by Andrew Dowler:

      "You'll find lots of deadpan silliness in this three-hour British
      miniseries based on one of Terry Pratchett's novels about
      Discworld, a place that looks like rundown Victorian England where
      vampires, banshees, golems and the like live alongside regular
      humans... The cast has great fun in high seriousness and arched-
      eyebrow mode, especially Suchet and Foy, who get to be nasty, and
      director Jon Jones creates some brilliant silent-movie-style dreams,
      with Moist awash in a heaving sea of letters..."


      Reviewed in the Toronto Examiner by Jon Jones:

      "Not having any familiarity with the previous works of Terry
      Pratchett, I don't really have a firm frame of reference for the
      characters, but Going Postal was a fun little fable that leaned more
      towards a younger crowd but was enjoyable for the entire family.
      This farce with plenty of satirical moments was intelligent designed
      as we are taken through Discworld on this adventure. Director Jon
      Jones a UK TV Movie veteran has crafted an entertaining world for
      our story to unfold in a fairly compelling manner with getting
      bogged down in too much exposition. Going Postal isn't high art, but
      it is fun entertainment that is suitable for the entire family... If
      you're a fan of Terry Pratchett and his novels or just a fan of some
      family friendly fantasy story telling then Going Postal may just be
      up your alley..."


      Reviewed at TV Overmind by Sam McPherson:

      "The story, adapted from the Discworld novel by author Pratchett
      (who makes a cameo appearance in the series), is clearly allegorical
      for today's need for immediate communication through advancing
      technology. It also just happens to include golems, banshees, and
      it's set in a world that lies on the backs of four elephants who
      themselves stand on the back of a giant turtle who swims through the
      cosmos. So it's not exactly all serious allegory. The acting is
      fantastic. Claire Foy (Upstairs, Downstairs) delivers a strikingly
      charming performance as Adora, while Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
      is particularly engrossing as the morally grey (but always
      efficient) Lord Vetinari, the leader of Ankh-Morpork... Fans of
      absurd British comedy (i.e. Monty Python) will get a kick out of the
      series, as will fans of quirky sci-fi (i.e. Doctor Who)..."


      ...and a brief but praise-filled review at AM New York by Scott A.

      "While author Terry Prachett is pretty well known on this side of
      the pond, this British adaptation of 'Going Postal,' part of his
      series of 'Discworld' novels, is a bit of a hidden gem. Set in
      his fantastical city of Ankh-Morpork, where mythic creatures such as
      golems walk alongside men, the unfortunately named conman Moist von
      Lipwig is arrested and given the option of death or running the
      antiquated and dilapidated post office. What ensues is a clever,
      funny yarn that will really surprise you. And I can assure you that,
      despite having never read any of Pratchett's books, this is a very
      accessible film and a true pleasure to watch."




      In The Guardian's "Joe Public" blog, research manager Philippa Hare
      speaks out:

      "As a non-expert on dementia, one of the things that has really
      helped me to understand the people's experiences of dementia has
      been hearing them speak about it, in their own words. The
      opportunity for us to do this has grown hugely in the past few years
      – before that, it was largely assumed that people with dementia
      (or indeed learning difficulties, mental health problems or any
      other cognitive or communication impairment) had nothing sensible,
      coherent or useful to say, and that others (care staff, doctors,
      family members, charities) could speak much more effectively on
      their behalf. All that has started to change. [activist] Norrms is
      just one of a growing number – including Richard Taylor and Peter
      Ashley, Agnes Houston and James McKillop of the Scottish Dementia
      Working Group, and Terry Pratchett – who are now not only
      presenting at major international conferences, but also using new
      social media (blogs, YouTube etc) to convey their experiences and
      views directly. It may take a bit longer for us to hear more voices
      of those in the later stages of dementia, and of those who are much
      older and possibly made frail by a whole combination of conditions
      – but I believe this too will come in time...

      "Hearing the voices of people who live with dementia has made me
      think much harder about the language we all use to describe those in
      that situation. We all speak and think so quickly, that it's easy to
      use default terms – to label people as patients, care receivers,
      service users, residents, dementia sufferers, victims. But each term
      has its own connotations and each conveys a specific and very
      partial role which can easily prevent us from seeing the wholeness
      of the person we are describing and, hopefully, wanting to
      understand. People like Richard, Agnes, Peter, James, Norrms and
      Terry are all experiencing their own dementia in their own way (and
      they choose their own terms to describe themselves and their
      condition). But by speaking up they are all showing us that they are
      not victims, that they each have an active, unique and extremely
      important role to play, and that they are determined to make the
      most of life, whatever it throws at them..."


      More on World Alzheimer's Month at alz.org:


      The website of Alzheimer's activist "Norrms" McNamara:


      In research news, scientists at University College London "have
      secured £38,000 funding from Alzheimer's Research UK for eye-
      tracking equipment to boost research into a rare form of
      Alzheimer's. The grant will pay for the high tech equipment to study
      posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) which affects only a few thousand
      people in the UK, including the best-selling author Sir Terry
      Pratchett, a patron of Alzheimer's Research UK... The disease
      doesn't cause damage to the eyes, but to the area at the back of the
      brain which processes and interprets what we see. Thanks to this
      essential new funding boost, Dr Sebastian Crutch and his team at the
      UCL Institute of Neurology can now invest in an innovative machine
      called EyeLink II to help with their mission to unravel this complex
      disease. The team is already learning more about PCA by comparing
      the brains of healthy people with those of patients with PCA and
      Alzheimer's disease..."





      A tasty review by Craven on the Rotdog games site ("Gaming by Gamers
      for Gamers"):

      "It's the first Treefrog Games product I have bought and I wasn't at
      all let down by the quality of the finished product. I have been
      pretty spoilt by the sheer excellence that represents Fantasy Flight
      products, so it is reassuring to see that other companies out there
      can churn out items with the same sort of sheen as the bigger boys
      do. But, by far the biggest and most pleasant surprise was how
      simple this game is to pick up – but it is a simplicity that masks
      a very in depth strategy game once you get started... Within moments
      it became pretty clear that you simply pick a card and follow the
      instructions. That is about as complicated as it gets. Hearing this
      for the first time I have to admit to a degree of trepidation. Was
      this nice polish merely the result of a few Discworld fanboys
      running rampant in the Treefrog design department, without
      considering whether it would work as a game or not? The answer is a
      resounding no... The rules remain clear, logical and keep the game
      moving at a steady pace, but the planning and counter manouvering
      really makes your mind work. In simple terms, it's a perfect mix..."

      [Note: The review page also features a considerable selection of the
      game's cards. Looks wonderful – as your Editor will soon see with
      her own eyes...]


      Treefrog Games' "Ankh-Morpork" is now available from retailers
      including Eclectic Games. Priced at £29.99, it can be ordered




      Available from Eclectic Games, priced at £34.99. To order online:



      ...and here be a fine iconograph of Guards! Guards! designers Boyd
      and Brashaw, wearing some truly eye-popping on-topic t-shirts:




      9.1 SADWCON NEWS

      Iconographs from the SADWcon Event of 10th September. Looks like
      great fun was had by all!




      "Auction of Discworld goodies raised R5892 for charity."



      (Editor's note: that's £470/US$720)

      And about next year's inaugural SADWcon itself:

      "Booking available now! There are only 100 tickets available, first
      100 ticket holders get a goody bag filled with merchandise so book

      Online – R60
      At the door – R80
      Children under 13 – Free
      Online through Zazzle – Go to our Zazzle shop and buy a membership
      Zazzle.com - South African Discworld Event Membership Postcard

      Then email us at membership@... with your order number and
      what badge name(s) you want so we can make up your badge(s)

      (Note: Online ticket prices do not, regrettably, include shipping
      costs, but they do guarantee entrance and a goody bag.)





      Happening next week!


      9.3. NADWCON 2013 NEWS

      "So you wanna host a NADWCon?"

      So far, organizations/coalitions/groups in the following cities
      have expressed an interest in hosting NADWCon 2013: 

      * Atlanta, GA
      * Baltimore/DC area
      * Boston, MA
      * Charlotte, NC 
      * Halifax, Nova Scotia

      (Seattle, WA has withdrawn – which is to say, the first lot of
      bidders have; anyone up in Cascadia who wants to put hat in ring
      should do so now!)

      "Bidding is open until October 25th, 2011. Other cites in the U.S.
      and Canada are welcome to apply... The key to hosting a good con is
      hard work, organization, communication, setting realistic goals,
      having high standards, behaving in ways that are fiscally and
      ethically responsible, and treating volunteers with respect.
      Remember: our attendees come first!" 


      9.4 DWCON 2012 NEWS

      The convention theme will be based on The Colour of Magic and The
      Light Fantastic. This is especially interesting as canon says there
      weren't many Guilds around in those days, so the familiar Convention
      Guilds will likely be... um... different.

      Read all about it in the first edition of DWcon 2012's official
      organ, News Of The Disk (downloadable .pdf), at:


      For more news and info, and to get in early on registration, go to:


      9.5 IDWCON NEWS

      As noted above, neither Pterry nor Rob Wilkins will be able to
      attend the second Irish Discworld Convention (4th-7th November 2011
      in Ennistymon, Co. Clare). But there *will* be other special guests,
      activities, and of course plenty of good fresh Clare air and good
      aged Irish bevvies, so do visit their website for more details of
      what, where and how:





      A free-to-all presentation of TAMAHER the Musical, during the Ilkley

      When: Thursday, October 6th, 2011
      Venue: Ilkley Playhouse Wharfeside
      Time: 9:30 pm

      For more information:




      The Brisbane Arts Theatre will present their production of Monstrous
      Regiment in October and November 2011.

      When: Saturday 8th October (opening night), and then Thursday 13th-
      Saturday 15th; Thursday 20th-Saturday 22nd; Thursday 27th-Saturday
      29th; Sunday 30th (Halloween night special); Thursday 3rd November-
      Saturday 5th November

      Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane QLD 4000
      Time: 8pm all performances except the Halloween night special on
      Sunday 30th October, which starts at 5pm

      Tickets: Adults $31, Concessions & groups of 10+ $25, Members $20,
      Opening night $37, Halloween night $40
      Bookings: 3369 2344 / bookings@...
      To book online: http://www.artstheatre.com.au/index.php?page_id=20



      The Dorchester Drama Club's next production will be Guards! Guards!
      by Terry Pratchett, at the Corn Exchange, Dorchester from November
      10-12th 2011. No further information is yet up on their website, so
      stay tuned...



      10.4 SNUFF IN ABINGDON: 2012 PLANS

      "It's still a little way off but we're planning to stage Terry
      Pratchett's 'SNUFF' in 2012."




      The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club meets on the last
      Thursday of the month from 6.30pm at the Ed Castle, 233 Currie St,
      Adelaide (South Australia). The next meeting will be on Thursday
      29th September. Details, discussions and organisation of extra
      events (such as play outings) are held on their email mailing list,
      so do sign up at:



      The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, London's original Discworld
      meeting group, will be from 7pm on Monday 3rd October at the Monkey
      Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ.



      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 be on Monday 3rd October. For more information, contact
      Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax) on kenworthys@...


      Perth Drummers meet on the traditional of first Monday of the month.
      The next meeting will be from 6pm on Monday 3rd October at The
      Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco. For more information contact:
      Daniel Hatton at daniel_j_hatton@...

      EDITOR'S NOTE: start times have now changed for most of these



      12.1 From "L(J) Space", aka Discworld on Livejournal:


      dri (aquandrian) wrote:
      Remember that footnote about everyone having a Kate Bush album in a
      box in the garage? Well, I couldn't help but think of a certain
      Pratchett novel when I just saw the cover for Kate Bush's new album
      coming out in November:


      Remind you of anything? :p

      Does this mean that Kate Bush has a certain Pratchett novel in a box
      in the garage?


      Hahahahahahah! I'd like to think so! Although not in a box in the
      garage ... preferably place of pride on a bookshelf in the living
      room or study, thanks KT. :p



      niamh_sage) wrote in discworld:

      AS Byatt is a Sir Pterry fan.
      ...speaking at the Edinburgh international book festival, AS Byatt
      has declared Terry Pratchett her hero, for having "caused more
      people to read books than anyone else – because he tells them
      something they want to know, that they can laugh at, and because he
      writes really good English". What a nice thing to say :D

      I'm interested in her comment about a free distribution of Pratchett
      books to kids to encourage them to read more. Do you think it would
      work? Which book would you choose to give out?

      Guards! Guards! is a good starter for Discworld newbies. Wyrd
      Sisters is good, too.

      I'd go for Amazing Maurice myself. It's got everything a Discworld
      novel should have (Death! Deceit! Horror! Magic! Baked Beans!) and
      if some parent complains, you can always point at the back cover and
      say it was meant for kids.

      This is an interesting question. My son is a high-functioning
      Autistic (PDD/NOS for anyone who knows the lingo) and his summer
      reading assignment was Lord of the Flies. Now he is not a good
      reader, and that is WAY out of his reading skill set at this point,
      so I had him read Only You Can Save Mankind. I knew he'd like it,
      because of the video games, and it actually has a very similar theme
      to Lord of the Flies; i.e. that humans need rules or else they can
      be really horrible to each other. (Broadly speaking) He loved the
      book, and went on to read the next two Johnny books.

      Wee Free Men. A female main character who is strong and capable
      without being boyish, and also loves animals, is great to attract
      girls, and the pictsies for boys, and brilliant storytelling for

      That was MY first, and it definitely worked. Of course I was 26 at
      the time. But then I do tend to read primarily children's/YA fiction
      so you figure I'd be hooked similarly.

      Depending on age group, I'd choose Maurice and his Educated Rodents,
      or one of the Tiffany Aching books.

      Not novice readers, of course, but I'd certainly hand the first two
      Tiffany Aching books to the 10-12-year-old set (boys and girls), and
      hope that they liked Granny Weatherwax enough to get hooked on the
      other witches-centric books. With the current popularity of
      vampires, Carpe Jugulum would amuse a lot of teenagers, although all
      the Granny Weatherwax bits might go over their heads.

      In the UK, we have free public libraries that stock Pratchett. So, I
      think we've got the free distribution sorted already. I agree with
      Wee Free Men too, but I'm Aching biased!

      12.2 From BU:


      I just got home after seeing Cowboys and Aliens with Sacharissa and
      the denizens of the Fortress.The movie can be perfectly summed up in
      Vera's words as "It did what it said on the box", however Daniel
      Craig was channelling the spirit of Sam Vimes. That is, if Sam Vimes
      could ride a horse. He was definitely hard drinking, dirty fighting,
      cigarette smoking, wiry, scruffy, possibly Brung Low by a Woman, and
      couldn't stand rich, bullying twits or damn great flying things.

      But but but Vimes *can* ride a horse! he rode one in Snu- ~blushes~
      Erm, move along, nothing to see here...

      ... in M@A, didn't he? Or, I get the feeling somewhere in Uberwald,
      but Uberwald doesn't have too many horses (because they're smarter
      than to stick around where there are wolves, of course...)

      Only one I can track down is his dislike of talking to people on
      horseback (Night Watch) – but I half remember one of him distrusting




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      Ann Giles, journalist, blogger and a lot else, also known as The
      Bookwitch, has some fantastic extended conversations with Pterry on
      record, complete with a panoply of fine iconographs:





      "And then, although it took 9 days to get there, after only 30
      minutes we turned around...."

      Yes, Asti of BU, peripatetic granddaughter of WOSSNAME founder Joe
      Schaumburger, has made a successful climb to Everest Base Camp! And
      here she is, on the slopes of Everest, proudly wearing her Unseen
      University scarf as promised:


      For the full story and more:


      Congratulations, missus!



      Oook! A topical "manip" wallpaper by Pratchett fan uvirith:


      Bonsai mountains!


      Gytha Ogg: the Next Generation?


      The wonderfulness that is the Pratchgan. Just because it deserves
      another airing here:




      From Planned Banter ("While the chats are planned, the opinions are

      "Time to get your luggage and travel out to Unseen University for an
      all-Discworld edition of Bookbusters! Thrill at Mike's reading/re-
      reading of the most popular book franchise in Britain that
      doesn't... involve... wizards. Well that isn't Harry Potter anyway.
      Or a licensed series like Red Dwarf or Doctor Who. I haven't fact-
      checked those others but I'm covering my bases here..."


      To download:




      Blogger Florian Kaferbock's critique of the Discworld series, as
      featured last month in Around the Blogosphere, inspired a long,
      passionate rebuttal from WOSSNAME reader Andy Feeney:

      I wonder what's wrong with Florian Kaferbock. I think this man's
      problem is that as a mathematician, he thinks too much like a
      mathematician. A huge part of the best Discworld novels has to do
      with the characters, not the plot, and Kaferbock doesn't seem to
      recognize that. Also, for at least some of Pratchett's readers, the
      unexpected satirical asides & psychological/sociological/scientific
      insights and aphorisms are the little jewels scattered through the
      novels that lift Pratchett into the realm of – well, it seems a bit
      wossname to say so, but into the realm of genius.

      Unfortunately for Kaferbock, who reminds me in some ways of Ponder
      Stibbons, he seems tone-deaf to Pratchett's asides and aphorisms,
      not to mention Pratchett's occasional forays into sheer goofiness.
      Hence his over-valuation of the later, "serious" books and the
      woeful under-valuation of the earlier, "silly" ones.

      There is a lovely, basically goofy passage in "Eric," for example,
      in which the Creator (I think after hearing from Rincewind) decides
      to stop making snowflakes on the basically boring design of one
      bloody hexagon after another, and starts turning out some snowflakes
      in the shapes of letters of the alphabet. Hasn't anyone ever
      wondered why this isn't possible? Pratchett did, and used "Eric" to
      convey the idea to us. I think we should be grateful for this.

      There's another nice, lightly written passage in "Eric" in which
      Rincewind encounters the Helen of Troy/Tsort character, ten years
      after her face "launched a thousand ships" and triggered a
      disastrous war, and finds her a nice matron of remarkably pleasant
      appearance, but no great shakes as a femme fatale. It's a logical
      gloss on the somewhat overwrought Greek myths about Helen's beauty,
      and thus a satirical commentary on the logic of the Iliad, and also
      a somewhat melancholy reflection on the damage that time ultimately
      does to all great beauties. But Kaferbock seems to have missed it,
      or ignored it, which I think is rather sad.

      The portrayal of Hell in "Eric" as a place where outright torture
      has been replaced by detailed bureaucratic regulation that actually
      seems worse than torture is nicely drawn, too, but perhaps because
      the plot connecting these moments is somewhat rickety and "silly,"
      Kaferbock seems to have missed the good things that are there.

      I think what Kaferbock is most oblivious to in the Discworld books
      is Pratchett's satire, which is sometimes deft but sometimes
      descends to broad burlesque. For example, the scene in "Hogfather"
      where Death plays the role of a department-store Santa Claus with
      the literal power to grant the outrageous wishes of the children is
      a passage that had my Christmas-averse nephew rolling on the floor.
      But perhaps because he was never exposed to the high-octane
      commercialized insanity of American Christmas shopping, Kaferbock
      missed it, or didn't appreciate it.

      In "Soul Music," which Kaferbock damns with faint praise, there is a
      fine scene where Susan Sto Helit visits a battlefield with a mystic
      raven and is revolted when the raven proceeds to eat the eyeballs of
      the recently slain, excusing himself with the comment "miracle of
      nature." Which, of course, it is! How in the world can Kaferbock
      have missed that? Ditto the scene in "Mort" where Death is sitting
      in the tavern with the bored tavern keeper explaining how "everybody
      hates me" and how he really, really hates his job. Ditto for many of
      the other characteristic scenes in which Death appears – such as in
      the beginning of "Sourcerers," where the dying wizard says children
      are our hope for the future, and Death replies: THERE IS NO HOPE FOR
      THE FUTURE. THERE'S ONLY ME. And the wizard says, but what is there
      besides you? And Death replies: I'M SORRY?

      Almost none of this foolery is necessary for Pratchett's plots. A
      good deal of it also does nothing to advance the development of
      Pratchett's characters. But what it does do is allow the author to
      comment, pungently and uproariously, on some of the most painful
      aspects of the human condition. And this commentary on the human
      plight, far more than the confounded plots, is what lifts the
      Discworld novels into the plane of great literature.

      As a bit of a socialist myself, I find Pratchett's entire Discworld
      oeuvre to be resolutely anti-utopian and basically anti-
      revolutionary; I get the feeling that Pratchett is somewhat
      libertarian in his economic views, and suspect he would class me
      with the wretched star people in Light Fantastic, who are a nasty
      left-wing mob of rather limited intelligence. But repeatedly,
      Pratchett shows a strong anti-elitist and egalitarian streak in his
      thinking, and I suspect that this is one element in the books that
      Kaferbock finds especially distasteful.

      For example, in "Carpe Jugulum," which Kaferbock disliked and
      considered silly, a big piece of the psychological action features
      Agnes Nitt aka Perdita coming to despise the vampires as economic
      predators on the weak and helpless. There's a nice exchange in this
      book between Granny Weatherwax and the wishy-washy Omnian priest,
      too, in which Granny Weatherwax outlines a system of morality based
      on Martin Buber's "I and Thou" distinction – a very serious approach
      to non-exploitative, non-theological morality in an almost
      apocalyptic setting of violence and predation. But Kaferbock, alas
      missed it.

      He also appears to have little use for "Lords and Ladies," in which
      the destructive elves behave a good deal like the richest and most
      elitist "popular" students that many of us have encountered in
      American high schools. They are immensely attractive, immensely
      stylish, glamorous even to their victims, and inherently cruel -
      just like too many teenaged humans. But Kaferbock doesn't get it.
      And in "Color of Magic," which Kaferbock found rather
      unsatisfactory, the entire first chapter centers around a single pun
      that Pratchett is making about the new, highly destructive form of
      magic that Two Flower brings to Ankh-Morpork, the one that sounds
      like "reflected sound of underground spirits" – i.e. "echo-gnomics."

      In "Feet of Clay," which Kaferbock barely remembers, Vimes reflects
      a good deal on the willing participation of economically oppressed
      candle-makers in the factory where they're being exploited, and at
      the end Vimes strikes a nearly "revolutionary" blow against the
      hereditary aristocracy. "Jingo," another novel that Kaferbock gives
      fairly low marks, is of course centered around the moral obscenity
      of war, not to mention the ethnocentrism and xenophobia - and the
      arms manufacturing industry, and the mercenary ship captain who is
      willing to sell arms to the enemy – that together help to generate

      Thus it seems to me that whenever Pratchett pushes his plots in
      somewhat radical directions, Kaferbock stops paying attention, and
      begins think a great deal more like Lord Rust than like Pratchett.
      Whenever Pratchett discusses the powerful destructive magic of
      "echo-gnomics," Kaferbock closes his ears.

      That's probably enough of my ranting, though. I have no clue any of
      this could or should be reprinted. But I wanted to get it off my
      chest, since I hate to see so much of Pratchett's earlier work being
      unjustly neglected.

      – Andy Feeney

      Blogger The Incurable Bluestocking reviews Maskerade, not her
      favourite Discworld novel:

      "This is probably my least favourite of the Witches of Lancre books.
      I'm not sure why, but I just don't find it as compelling as the
      others. There's no reason I shouldn't. It's based fairly heavily on
      The Phantom of the Opera, which was one of my favourite musicals
      when I was younger, so familiarity and nostalgia should both be
      working more in my favour. And yet — something doesn't take...
      Lots of good ingredients, and yet somehow this book just doesn't
      sparkle quite the way the others do. It doesn't have the same
      balance of absurdity with profound truth that I like from Pratchett.
      I also feel like Maskerade, somehow, doesn't have quite enough
      struggle in it. The stakes aren't ever quite high enough. The Opera
      House is a world unto itself, and while there's a lot of metaphoring
      that you can do with that, it means that nothing ever seems too
      terribly dire. It also drags a bit towards the end — the endgame
      is a little haphazard and takes a while to play out.

      "That said, there's a lot of good humour in here, still. Nanny Ogg
      grappling with the idea of being fabulously wealthy — and then
      having Esme take the decision entirely out of her hands — is good
      for quite a few laughs, as is her attempt at a little revenge on her
      friend. And if you know much about opera or its descendant, musical
      theatre, there are an abundance of great inside jokes. I confess, I
      don't catch as many of them here as I do with the Shakespeare-themed
      books, but, well, that's what the L-Space is for. I do also thank
      this book for giving me the concept of the catastrophic curve —
      that point of right before everything goes to hell, a point that has
      no small amount of power in it..."


      Blogger Cheryl Mahoney, on Tales of the Marvelous, lists Samuel
      Vimes among her all-time favourite male characters in literature:

      "Sam is wonderful, a cynical, bitter copper with a firm sense of
      honor. He breaks up riots by gently chiding the participants (backed
      up by a very large troll), deals with assassins regularly (but not
      until after he's done shaving), charts his own course whether the
      authorities like it or not but firmly believes in the Law, and once
      stopped a war by arresting both armies for disturbing the peace.
      Discworld is a strange, strange place, filled with completely absurd
      and very hilarious characters. Sam is the lead of seven books in the
      series, and is a sane (but still funny) figure in the midst of the
      chaos. His character develops a lot from the first book to the last,
      from spending most of his time at the bottom of a bottle and just
      trying to stay out of trouble, to Sir Samuel, head of the Night
      Watch, who is always (ALWAYS) home at six p.m. sharp to read his son
      a bedtime story (even if a state of emergency has to be declared to
      make it happen)."


      Blogger Elizabeth Willse is also a Vimes – and Watch – fan:

      "I remember in college, so many of my friends were reading the
      Discworld books, by Terry Pratchett. I read Wyrd Sisters, and
      giggled at some of the puns and Shakespeare references. I liked
      Witches Abroad. Then I tried to read the first book in the series,
      because I am a completist like that. I couldn't get through The
      Colour of Magic. So, at some point, I gave up on reading Terry
      Pratchett. And relegated him to the "I'll read this at some
      point, when I get around to it"... I figured I'd try some Terry
      Pratchett again, because I knew it would be a a fast read, something
      silly. They had Feet of Clay in the library e-books collection.
      That's one of the Discworld books featuring the Guards... I think
      now I like them even more than I would have in college. In the past
      few years I've gotten absolutely hooked on crime dramas, the
      funnier the better. I like NCIS precisely because of the sweet spot
      between mystery and hilarity. I like it when the people trying to
      solve crimes have plenty of time for ridiculous banter. And head-


      Blogger Rachael Griffiths reviews ISWM:

      "I've just finished reading 'I Shall Wear Midnight,' the
      latest instalment in the Tiffany Aching series by the wonderful
      Terry Pratchett. As always, it took me less than a day to read,
      because when I pick up a book by Terry, I can never seem to put it
      down. Many truths exist between Terry's pages, found between the
      effortless humour and clever dialogue. It draws you in and demands
      your entire attention, until the real world seems a haze around you,
      something that's not really there. I've always thought of books
      and the words they contain as some kind of living creature,
      attention-starved and selfish beings that want to steal away your
      time and make you theirs. Feeling that way has always been a sign
      that I'm reading something by one of my favourite authors..."


      Blogger Nonsensical Hogwash is deeply indebted to Discworld's Death
      for helping her deal with her own real-life thanatophobia:

      "Even now, if my little sister goes out for an evening my mind races
      with thoughts of rapists, murderers, dementors and evil spirits for
      hours. It is so frustrating and totally unnecessary. I know,
      logically, that these things are highly unlikely and damn near
      impossible (no, I'll never stop believing) but my mind runs off in a
      toga and unsightly sandals thinking it knows what's what. So now,
      whenever I get scared of death and dying, I think of Death in the
      DiscWorld. He's awesome..."


      Blogger Geoffrey on Stuffed Crocodile writes an essay, complete with
      illustrations, on why Pratchett novels should never have Roundworld
      soup advertising in the middle of them:

      "The text in the blackout section reads something like: the stairway
      Teppic was on was not really good for a break... but we can have
      one, so let's adjourn for 5 minutes and make a cup of soup...

      "It's an ad for a 5-minute soup.

      "Yeah. It's real.

      "That was a standard practice for Heyne back then. At least with
      their genre novels...."


      Blogger Samuel Loveland reviews Going Postal and Making Money from
      the viewpoint of a die-hard Moist von Lipwig fan:

      "Terry Pratchett is high satire at its best, writing Moist Vol [sic]
      Lipwig as he scrambles his way into restoring the Ankh-Morpork Post
      Office to glory. Although the book takes place in Pratchett's
      Discworld, no previous knowledge about the setting is needed. I
      enjoyed the Colour of Magic (Discworld #1) when I read it, but
      Pratchett is a stinky old cheese – he gets better with age..."


      Blogger L.S. Engler, a frequent Discworld reviewer, goes back to
      Equal Rites and in fascinated:

      "Equal Rites is the third Discworld book and, while there are still
      some undeniable familiar traits about it, it still feels that
      Pratchett hasn't quite fully developed the Disc and is still
      working his way through it. It's not bad, by any means; I can't
      imagine Pratchett writing *poorly*. But it is as though the Esme
      Weatherwax in Equal Rites is just a slip of a woman who Esme
      Weatherwax will become. Ankh-Morpork is a mere suggestion of what it
      really is in later books. It's a subtle introduction, a glimpse of
      more to come, for when these characters are so developed and
      particular that there's no denying that they're practically
      real. Outside of the almost quaintness of these first glimpses of
      these well-known features, Equal Rites is a great book about not
      only magic, but the fundamental difference (dare we say it?) between
      men and women and the way they go about things...and whether or not
      that makes a lick of difference..."


      Blogger NAWFALAQ praises Wyrd Sisters:

      "Wyrd Sisters is has several major themes running through the
      storyline. The first is about witches: what is it that witches do
      and how do they do it? The individuals of the coven each seem to
      have entirely different views on this matter, and their conflicting
      opinions is the source of much fun for the reader. Of course, I side
      with Granny Weatherwax because (not only do I adore her name) but I
      think she is positively riotous. Another theme Pratchett satirizes
      is Shakespearean theatre. It will probably be lost on those readers
      who are not entirely up on their Shakespeare, but if you took a
      class in college – you're more than prepared... I love that
      there is so much in the Discworld novels. So much... stuff. Satires,
      parodies, Easter eggs, etc. Its all so much fun and wit. I love this
      about the Discworld series and I seriously distrust those people who
      do not like the Discworld novels. If you cannot appreciate the wit
      in these novels then clearly you are not to be trusted, I am pretty
      sure Granny Weatherwax would agree with me on this..."


      ...while blogger Reader praises Unseen Academicals:

      "The more I read of Pratchett, the more I feel that 'Comic Fantasy'
      doesn't really cut it as a description of his work. We have witty
      insight into the nature of a football crowd and the nature of 'mob
      mentality', a cutting yet non-confrontational judgment on
      immigration and persecution and references to Shakespeare (not the
      first time the warring families of Romeo and Juliet have been
      transposed onto football teams I'm sure) and other classical
      literature I'm sure I have not picked up on. This is a book about
      love. Not just of 'The Game' but a deep and meaningful love of


      Blogger Vacuous Wastrel, having already done the first two parts of
      the Johnny Maxwell trilogy, reviews Johnny and the Bomb:

      "OYCSM is, in my opinion, an imaginative, funny, surprisingly
      mordant novella that deals with an off-the-wall and curious SF
      concept against the background of a realistic, well-characterised
      satirical portrayal of the 1990s, and is let down only by its overly
      simplistic, almost lazy plot resolution, and its general not-quite-
      under-controlness; Dead, on the other hand, is a more polished but
      also more lifeless novella, using the same trope (genre concept in
      1990s small-town Britain with a cast of teenagers), without the
      accuracy or complexity of characterisation, without the darker
      undertow, without the same bite to the comedy, without the inherent
      interest and sophistication of the central conceit, and without much
      of the joie de vivre. Tastes may, of course, vary. But assuming my
      views on the first two novels aren't wholly idiosyncratic: where
      does the third volume fall on this spectrum?

      "Somewhere in between. There is an exciting, enjoyable pace to this,
      and the conceit is a little less plain. On the other hand, it
      doesn't really make any sense. The fact that it doesn't make any
      sense is mostly covered up by the manic pace and the intentional
      confusion, but the fact does remain. Characterisation is rather
      better than in the second book, but not as good as in the first
      (although more realistic in terms of age-suitability). The writing
      is, throughout, excellent, particular in the earlier parts, where I
      found myself laughing out loud several times..."


      And two reviews of the new Discworld board game "Ankh-Morpork", from
      games blogs Little Metal Dog and Boards and Bees:





      Two reviews of Snuff, by Annie Mac

      1. THE SHORT ONE

      "Thirty-ninth Discworld novel, what?"

      "Absolutely cracking tale of city versus country, what?"

      "A policeman will find a crime anywhere if he decides to look hard
      enough, what?"

      "Full of suspense and plot twists, what?"

      "High-speed chases, murder, intrigue, family plots, drugs and sex,

      "Fabulous new characters and character evolutions, what?"

      "Chocka with surprises, what?"

      "Balls, dances, dinners, and soirees, what?"

      "Wonderful, soaringly magical addition to the Discworld canon,



      "Ah. Thirteenth of October. Buy this book, what?"


      At the beginning of Snuff, we see Sam Vimes being forced, under
      protest, off the streets of Ankh-Morpork. At least that's the way
      *he* sees it. But although he may technically be on leave, where
      he's really gone is off to war...

      ...with himself.

      Yes indeed, His Grace Commander Sir Samuel Vimes is a one-man class
      war, and there's nothing like a nice restful holiday in the
      countryside to stir up the old inner battlefield. From his first
      moments at the Ramkins' hereditary estate, meeting the vast (also
      hereditary) staff, His Grace the Copper finds himself embroiled in a
      brain-melting stew of customs and traditions that leaves him equal
      parts infuriated and embarrassed – why can't he have a quiet drink
      with his manservant? – which hands must never be shaken? – how
      can he get the housemaids to answer his simplest questions?, and so
      on. And when he tucks tail between legs and retires to the village
      pub for a bit of peace and quiet, the confusion continues. Some of
      the locals are annoyingly obsequious; some of them make him the butt
      of their misplaced republicanism; and even the traditional
      solidarity[1] between officers of the law turns out to have hidden
      twists and stings. So what's a copper to do?

      Look for a crime, of course. At least, Vimes thinks, he knows the
      rules about *that*. Or does he?

      As we all know, Vimes is the direct descendant of an infamous
      regicide, now become the richest and, on a technicality, nobbiest[2]
      nob in Ankh-Morpork, and although being His Grace Sir Samuel grates
      endlessly on his egalitarian soul, he has come to realise that his
      titles, wealth and respectability-by-marriage are sometimes useful
      as tools in his personal and professional fight against crime and,
      yes, injustice[3]. As we see in Snuff, he's getting better at it,
      having had at least six or seven years in storyline-time to

      There's also the matter of the knock-on effects from Vimes' NDE in
      Thud! – which is to say Near *Dwarf* Experience[4], i.e. the
      interactions between the Summoning Dark, when it was trying to
      possess him, and his own inner Watchman aka the Guarding Dark.
      Without giving too much away, I can point out that the reality of
      this "superpower" is confirmed in Snuff... though the degree of that
      reality remains open to interpretation.

      But Sam Vimes has become more than just a policeman, more than a
      nobleman, more than a super-Watchman, because these days the love he
      bears for his family is every bit as all-encompassing as the lust he
      bears for catching the bad guys. And O Readers, Terry Pratchett has
      given Vimes a family truly worth loving. We've always known that
      Sybil is far more than just a pampered daughter of the faded
      aristocracy; she's a true Lady in terms of the old claim that *real*
      aristocrats can make themselves at home in any company and make any
      company feel at home. Although "yielding yet firm" is a good
      description of her personality, and although she is pleasant and for
      the most part *seemingly* complaisant[5], Sybil has an iron will and
      all the grit and determination of generations of Ramkins to back it
      up[6] – something that is shown very clearly as the story of Snuff

      ...and then there's Young Sam. Now almost six years old, Young Sam
      is an almost improbably serendipitous and yet totally believable
      amalgam of the very best of both his parents' traits. He has his
      mother's gentleness and "people skills", her great capacity for
      loving, plus her (again, hereditary) supreme self-knowingness; he
      has his father's determination, tendency to singlemindedness, powers
      of observation and analytical outlook[7]. The effect of this
      combination is nothing short of breathtaking. I'm not a great one
      for very young children, but I would willingly babysit Young Sam any

      So, on to the rest of the book: Snuff is a great Discworld story, a
      great human-interest story, and in keeping with the evolution of the
      series over the course of thirty-nine novels, it commits literature
      whilst still keeping the satire, comedy, and deliciously awful
      pun(e)s that first made Discworld and Terry Pratchett a household
      name[8]. It also continues to extend the storylines of familiar
      secondary characters (among them Harry King, Constable Haddock, Wee
      Mad Arthur, and of course the redoubtable Willikins who may be one
      of the series' greatest-ever scene stealers), and expands our
      knowledge of Discly geography (time for a new Mapp, perhaps?). I
      have yet to find a Pratchett novel I didn't like, but I do have a
      "least favourite" list that has built up over the years, but Snuff
      very definitely is not on it. If anything, I'd rate it right up
      there with Thud! and Going Postal, of the more recent books.

      There are a number of recurring themes in the Discworld stories;
      Snuff offers us some of the big ones, including the issues of
      speciesism and multiculturalism, of class divides, of the power of
      tradition and, oh yes indeed, of blood ties, as well as lesser
      themes of city versus country and old ways versus new. One could
      stir multiculturalism and racism (a quite literal<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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