WOSSNAME -- Main issue -- November 2011
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
November 2011 (Volume 14, 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, Pitt the Elder, Steven D'Aprano, L.C. Thomas
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
01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
03) A BAFTA WIN FOR "CHOOSING TO DIE"
04) "SNUFF" REVIEWS
05) NEW WORKS IN PROGRESS
06) PTERRY'S "BRITAIN IN A DAY"
07) VIDEO NICETIES
08) THE PROFESSOR IS IN...AGAIN
09) PATHWAYS INTO PRATCHNESS
10) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
11) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
12) PRATCHETT NAMED BEST AUTHOR ABOUT "TINY PEOPLE"
13) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
14) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
15) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
16) DISCWORLD DISCUSSION
17) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
18) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
19) DISCWORLD AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
20) ROUNDWORLD TALES
21) LATE BREAKING NEWS
01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"She gave a deprecating little chuckle. And if Nanny Ogg had been
listening, she would have resolved as follows: that no maddened
cackle from Black Aliss of infamous memory, no evil little giggle
from some crazed vampyre whose morals were worse than his spelling,
no side-splitting guffaw from the most inventive torturer, was quite
so unnerving as a happy little chuckle from a Granny Weatherwax
about to do what's best."
Maskerade, Gollancz hardcover edition, p. 260
02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
Hogswatch is coming ever closer at this time of year, and for those
of you feeling whimsical enough to watch the seasonal festive lights
being switched on in a little seaside town by our favourite author,
Burnham-on-Sea is the very place you want to be this weekend! The
lights-on countdown has already started, and attendees are promised
a big "afternoon of festive entertainment... held from 2.30pm
outside the Victoria Hotel in Victoria Street ahead of the big
switch-on by Sir Terry" at 4.45pm. With school choirs and adult
choirs carolling, and local Music With Rocks In band Vermin
(presumably not carolling), plus the Hogfath, um, Santa Claus
arriving "around 3.50pm on a train specially built by Burnham-On-Sea
Lions Club", not to mention the town's Mayor and Carnival Queen as
well as local radio presenter Ian Burrage joining the "Grand
Illuminator" himself, it's sure to be the best lighting-up ceremony
in all of Britain! Also, we're told that "Due to time constraints,
Sir Terry won't be in a position to sign any individual books but
pre-signed mementos will be handed out during the event". For more
information, and a link to the local seafront webcam, read all about
it on the anternet:
In other random Pratchett news, here be a charming new Twitter icon
for Pterry and Rob's Tweets page, designed by webcomic-smith Ray
And it's on with the show. Enjoy!
03) SCOTS BAFTA WIN FOR "CHOOSING TO DIE"
As reported in The Scotsman:
"Science fiction writer Sir Terry Pratchett collected an award for
the documentary about his struggle with Alzheimers: Terry Pratchett,
Choosing to Die."
(Article includes list of all winners)
In The Atlantic, journalist Maria Popova reviews the documentary:
"Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die is a powerful and fascinating
film, in which Pratchett explores the cultural controversies and
private paradoxes surrounding the issue of assisted suicide, which
remains illegal in most countries. From the "small but imbalancing
inconveniences" of the disease's earlier stages to the loss of his
ability to type to witnessing a terminally ill man peacefully
choreograph his own last breath in Switzerland, Pratchett explores
what it would be like to be helped to die, and what it would mean
for a society to make assisted death a safe refuge for the dying..."
04) SNUFF: NEW REVIEWS
By C.A. Bridges at Go386:
"Unlike the other nonhuman races of the Disc, goblins are
universally considered to be vermin. They're unhygienic, they have
questionably nasty practices, they look grotesque. They also have
language, art, families, they create amazingly beautiful pots, and
when one is murdered simply to get blood onto a crime scene to
implicate Vimes, he has his work cut out for him to find justice for
something that no one seems to consider a crime. Vimes is out of his
element and far out of his jurisdiction.
"The Discworld books can be broken into categories and I enjoy all
the Vimes books. This one seemed to lack as much intensity as the
previous ones, possibly because by this point I'm pretty sure Vimes
won't lose and 'Snuff' is sadly lacking an exciting villain or a
real challenge, but his deeply cynical outlook at just about
everything is always worthwhile and it's great fun to watch such a
city-based man thrash about in the countryside..."
By Ian Nichols in The West Australian:
"Sam has to learn a bit about piloting a river boat, and chasing
down murderers through muddy fields, while trying to be civil to the
landed gentry who surround him. And it's here that the book becomes
more than a merry adventure by Britain's leading satirist. For it is
also very much a book about freedom and prejudice... Pratchett is a
self-avowed humanist, and this may be part of an ongoing project to
show that humanity exists in all creatures, even if their behaviour
is seen to be repugnant to us. But how far can he go? In this book,
the goblins do something that is so challenging that it would seem
to condemn them from the very start. But Pratchett succeeds in
making even this understandable, in the context of the world of the
book. He shows us that the goblins have been made slaves, murdered
and hunted as animals, but that they are not animals; they are
talented, sensitive and intelligent creatures who do what is
unthinkable when the hardship gets to be too much. They don't
deserve to be slaves. For Pratchett, no-one deserves to be a
slave... I suspect there are going to be divided opinions on this
book, but it is a vintage Pratchett confection..."
By Dennis at Lookout Mountain Bookstore, a shop that specialises in
"You wouldn't want to invite Hercule Poirot to dinner or go horse-
riding with Miss Marple. And you DON'T want to go on vacation with
Sam Vimes (AKA His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh; AKA
Commander of the Watch Sir Samuel Vimes; AKA Blackboard Monitor
Vimes)... 'I laughed, I cried' literally (and, yes, I do know
what that word means; Tiffany fans take note). There were several
moments in the book where I laughed out loud, and others where I
cried actual tears (small ones). Mr. Pratchett has not lost his
touch. The characters are interesting, Vimes' views of humanity
(including Dwarves, Trolls,Vampyres, Werewolves, Gnomes, Golems
andnow in SnuffGoblins) and his commentary thereon are
cutting, Pratchett's love of music is once again beautifully, if
By Gopal Sathe at Indian financial site Live Mint:
"His latest novel, Snuff, is set around his long-established
character Sam Vimes, and is rich in references and callbacks to
other Discworld books. It is a story about class, about law and
about justice, and Pratchett manages to be both funny and gripping,
never trivializing the subjects he makes fun of. You don't have to
have read his other books to enjoy Snuff, although long-time readers
might find explanations to past events slowing the book a little.
Snuff is a police procedural at heart and, like previous Vimes
books, shows us the darkest parts of the Discworld. Vimes is on his
family estate on vacation, but as his boss, the beloved tyrant Lord
Vetinari, has noted, where there are policemen, crimes
"Pratchett makes you laugh, but over the years, as his writing style
has matured, he's less reliant on one-off gags and wordplay, and
instead lets the situation itself drive the humour. This means that
the books have gotten darker over the years, and his characters have
to earn their happy endings..."
05) WORKS IN PROGRESS
A now-shareable hint from Pterry's Twitter page (11th Nov 2011):
"... but before that comes the Long Earth and Dodger - the new title
for Happy Families you heard it here first!"
...and Sir Pterry is working on his autobiography, but as reported
here some months ago, he's already written a biography for a
mysterious someone else:
"They are mystery figures whose identities have been lost in time.
But the unknown subjects of these paintings in the National Portrait
Gallery are to be given new life stories by some of Britain's best-
known writers. Julian Fellowes, Alexander McCall Smith, Tracy
Chevalier, Joanna Trollope and Terry Pratchett are among the authors
who have created imaginary biographies to accompany the works. The
gallery has a number of paintings which were purchased in the 19th
and 20th centuries in the belief that they represented famous
people, only for the identities of the sitters to be disproved or
"Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People" will open at the
National Portrait Gallery on 3rd December and continue its run until
The National Portrait Gallery
St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE
Open daily 10:00-18:00, Thursday-Friday until 21:00
(entry to the gallery is free)
06) BRITAIN IN A DAY
In the Radio Times, the "Britain in a Day" project featured The
Author's description of his day:
"Oddly enough, Saturdays and Sundays are good days for a writer like
me; weekdays are so often punctuated with phone calls it's easy to
forget that you are supposed to be working on a book, and even
though Snuff, my latest book, is out there and in the public domain,
there is still some PR activity that I must attend to in the
strange, postnatal world that an author slides into when the latest
baby is snatched away..."
...and those of you living in the appropriate area can also join in
with *your* day:
"On Saturday 12 November, we asked you to pick up a camera and film
your day. We're getting such a great response that we've extended
the deadline for uploading until Monday 28 November. By uploading at
youtube.com/britaininaday you'll be contributing to an amazing video
portrait of the UK and your film will be considered for inclusion in
the BBC Two documentary for broadcast in spring 2012..."
07) VIDEO NICETIES
A new and exclusive "Amazon campus" interview on Vimeo:
Pterry's talk at Capclave:
As a follow-up to last month's BoingBoing interview, the Author
08) THE PROFESSOR IS IN...AGAIN
As reported in The Irish Times:
"'Professor Sir Terry Pratchett's Alumni Lecture' in Trinity
College Dublin on Wednesday evening, took the form of a
conversational interview between the writer and Dr Darryl Jones,
head of the school of English... Pratchett told the guests he would
support some humans going to Mars, 'so that when we eventually
destroy ourselves down here, the ones on Mars can come back down and
start all over again'..."
A photo be here:
...and an absolute necessity when you're a Sir, a Professor, and
about to lecture again at Trinity College:
09) PATHWAYS INTO PRATCHNESS
...or, as Rowan Kaiser puts it in an excellent oeuvre-de-Pratchett
essay at the Onion AV Club, "Gateways To Geekery":
"The natural response might be to start at the beginning of the
Discworld books and work from there, but that isn't necessarily the
best route to take. Discworld did not arrive as a finished product,
and the first three novels (The Colour Of Magic, The Light
Fantastic, and Equal Rites) are all lacking compared to what came
after. They have much of Pratchett's breezy writing style, his
creative philosophical playfulness, and his flair for language, but
they don't have his best works' most important feature: They aren't
laugh-out-loud funny, so much as mildly pleasant and clever. It took
Pratchett a few books to get his voice right.
"Possible gateway: 1987's Mort. Why: Pratchett's style is so
accessible that there's no bad place to start, although some entry
points are better than others. The first three Discworld books may
seem a bit too trifling, and later ones could lose some of their
impact without previous knowledge of the characters. So it makes
sense to start with the origin of one of his Discworld series-
within-the-series. Pratchett's world can be divided into four main
series, respectively built around the anthropomorphic form of Death;
a coven of witches; the bumbling wizard Rincewind; and the City
Watch of Discworld's most important city. There are also a few
standalones, a later young-adult series, some graphic novels, and
various adaptations in other media. This leaves four superb gateways
10) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
10.1 CAMPAIGN TO SAVE SUFFERERS' DAY CENTRE
"World-famous author Sir Terry Pratchett, who suffers from
Alzheimer's, has backed calls for a day centre that supports those
with the disease to be saved from closure. The fantasy writer has
urged Camden Council to 'withdraw the proposal to close Netherwood
Day Centre' in West Hampstead and called on officials to 'safeguard
the future' of the 'very precious resource'. Sir Terry, who was
knighted for services to literature and has sold more than 70
million books, has added his name to an online petition, his agent
confirmed this week... He was joined this week by playwright Alan
Bennett and his fellow Beyond the Fringe writer Jonathan Miller who
have both signed the petition..."
10.2 WEARING THE LILAC FOR ALZHEIMER'S 2012
Kelly from Kentucky is a woman with a mission:
"The Wear the Lilac for Alzheimer's fundraiser started in 2008, not
long after Sir Terry Pratchett's announcement in March of that year
that he had donated 1 million USD to the Alzheimer's Research Trust
UK. Before then, like many fans, I 'wore the lilac' on May 25th as a
reference to the events in the novel Night Watch. Lilacs are not
common in my part of the US on May 25th, as it's too hot for them to
bloom. So I started making lilac pins out of silk lilac blooms for
myself and other local fans and giving them away.
"After hearing of Sir Terry's donation, I wanted to do more than
that. So I approached some online fan communities and asked if they
would be interested in purchasing a lilac pin if they knew the
entire proceeds of the sale would be donated to Alzheimer's research
both in the US and in the UK. The community reaction was very
positive and so the Wear the Lilac for Alzheimer's fundraiser was
born, with the first donation taking place on May 25, 2008.
"In the first year, Wear the Lilac for Alzheimer's donated over
$1,000 to the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Research
11) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
11.1 PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT AND SAY "OOOK!"
Want a Hogswatch gift that helps Roundworld's Librarians, keeps on
entertaining, and serves as a permanent reminder that these
wonderful mon, ap, people need our help by buying a pack of
"Old Men of the Forest" cards from the makers of the Ankh-Morpork
"Old Men of the Forest is a simple card game for three to four
players where your aim is to save as many orangutans as possible
from deforestation. To save one of these great apes you must cash
in a certain number of prize cards. Game play is a little like
'whist', where players play one card each and the highest wins. The
twist here is that not only does the winner win something but so to
does the player who comes second. When you 'win' a card you take
one of the cards played to the table, but not your own, with the
player who played the highest card choosing first. You can then
cash in the cards you have won up to now for one of the orangutan
cards. The second twist is that you must cash in all of your cards,
and any surplus ones count as points against you. Thus you have to
consider whether you cash in early for a low point card or collect
more cards for a high point card but run the risk of penalty
"All of the profits from the sales of Old Men of the Forest will
be donated to the Orangutan Foundation UK. Some of you may be aware
that Sir Terry Pratchett is on the board of trustees, which is a
clue as to why Treefrog is producing such a game..."
 yes, *all* of the profits. Did I mention that Martin Wallace and
the rest of the Treefrog folk rock?
 not to be confused with tree frog folk-rock, which presumably
has fewer lyrics than the average Dwarf mining song
(price to Fourecks or Merkia is a mere $15 plus $3 p&p)
For more information, and to order online, go to:
11.2 ANKH-MORPORK REVIEW
The site My Board Game Journal features a very long, detailed review
of "Ankh-Morpork" by someone who might be anonymous or might be
called Screw You! (no,seriously). The article's writer is admittedly
unfamiliar with Discworld, and the writing itself is somewhat
clumsy, but the game seems to get a definite thumbs-up:
"With light and easy rules, everyone can play this game and have fun
with it. I think it's appropriate to call this one a family game.
I know it can be brutal and mean, but as long as the players are
playing it easy and simple, this could be a fun game for the family.
Well, if you take this game to the competitive level (but still
enjoying with dark and gloomy humor) with you friends, this could be
proven brutal and chaotic. This card driven game really applied the
take that mechanic, which let people play cards and other people
take the bash. And once again, this also a secret personality with
hidden objective, the word 'hidden' should be hidden, which mean you
must complete your objective secretly. If someone successfully
ratted out your personality, there is a big chance you'll lose the
game. The game plays really quick, from 30-60 minutes and it isn't
a brain burner, so yo can have some laugh and fun to share along
with your fellow players. In each game, you have random personality
card and different cards to be played, which gives you enough replay
value even the initial setup doesn't change..."
Remember, Treefrog Games' "Ankh-Morpork" can be ordered online as a
superb Hogswatch present:
[Editor's note: as promised in last month's issue, the WOSSNAME
house copy of "Ankh-Morpork" went out on loan to a number of
experienced Fourecksian gamers among the dreaming spires of Mel's
Bourne, and the verdict was overwhelmingly "This is a good game!"
Unfortunately, none of the promised written reviews from said gamers
have surfaced yet...]
12) PTERRY NAMED BEST AUTHOR ABOUT "TINY PEOPLE"
Conn Iggulden, co-author of that delightful modern adventure primer
The Dangerous Book for Boys, puts the Nomes trilogy at the very top
of his ten-best list of children's books that feature "tiny people"
-- even above Gulliver's Travels and The Borrowers:
"With a sense of awe and wonder, they slowly discover that the world
around them is greater than Haberdashery and Kitchen Appliances. As
always with Pratchett, the dialogue cracks along, peppered with wit
while incidentally exploring our own ideas of reality. Pratchett
is loved by millions for very good reason."
In fact, there are two more Pratchetts on that list: The Wee Free
Men at no. 7:
"A completely different type to his first little folk, as these are
blue and say "Jings!" and "Criminy!" a lot, while attacking anything
that moves. Small people with a bit of bite or at least the
danger of running straight up your trouserleg. The Nac Mac Feegles,
as they are known, are another wonderful creation and a way into
the Discworld series for younger children."
...and The Carpet People at no. 9:
"Yes, it's the third one of his in the list and it's definitely not
in order of greatness, because this is a first-rate, charming and
funny story of truly tiny folk, who must journey across the vast
landscape that appears to be the carpet in a single human room. As
small as they are, they have only hints of the reality of the world,
much as we do ourselves. An instant classic and suitable for
children of 10-14 and up."
[Editor's note: "Jings"? "Criminy"? Um, is this some different
translation of Feeglespeak?]
13) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
13.1 HOGSWATCH IN WINCANTON
Our roving Newshound Bruce Not Bruce reports the following
announcement from the Cunning Artificer:
Hogswatch is a comin', no goose will there be found, it's time for
ale and sausages to make our bellies round. The Hogfather will be
flying, o'er rooftops crisp and white, to visit little boys and
girls he knows when they've been nice. So gather up your
suitcase, your wife and children too, come join us in Wincanton,
there's lots of things to do. Let's raise a glass of scumble,
sherry, port or hot mulled wine, or any other beverage from apple
tree or vine, for it will indeed be Hogswatch, and fun is to be
found, in jolly old Wincanton, Ankh-Morpork's own twin town!
Our annual festive celebration will take place on the 26th and 27th
November. Held in and around the hostelries of Wincanton, Hogswatch
is an informal and somewhat relaxed gathering of like-minded folk
and Discworld fans. Enjoy the company of some notable Discworld
names, participate in lots of nonsense in the name of fun and
charity, and celebrate the man in the hat!
It's our birthday! This year the Discworld Emporium celebrates it's
tenth year, and with that in mind it's carnival/mardis gras time! So
rummage in the dressing up box and go Gogol with a Genuan get up, or
don your most mysterious mask for an elegant Brindisian flavour.
Think sequins, feathers, pox doctors and voodoo! Those of a
theatrical persuasion can take to the stage for the traditional
maskerade, with appropriate party pieces to entertain, mesmerize,
bewitch or confound. All manner of fevered lunacy accepted.
The traditional Sausage Supper will be served from the cauldrons of
various hostelries around town on Saturday evening. This communal
feast costs a small fee and meal tickets can be purchased online
from the 'New Products' section of our site here:
There'll be talks, entertainments, cake, games room, dealers room
and of course the Grand Charity auction in aid of Alzheimer's
research on Sunday. The Emporium will be open all weekend for moral
support and retail therapy. Keep your eyeballs peeled for updates on
Facebook, our website, email newsletters and forum pages!
Hogswatch is free to attend, but if you're brave enough to stay the
whole weekend you'll need to source your own accomodation. Suggested
places to stay can be found here:
The stylish full programme can be read here on ye webbe:
13.2 AUSDWCON 2012: THE OFFICIAL MEMORANDUM
From the office of Mustrum Ridcully, Archancellor, Unseen University
Dear People of the Discworld; and Students,
We would like to invite you, one and all, to attend the Unseen
University Convivium 2012, to be held at University of Adelaide,
Adelaide, South Australia, Roundworld, on July 6-8 2012.
This will be a celebration of all things Wizardly and Discworldly,
for afficionados [sic] of the ouvre [sic] of Professor Sir Terry
Pratchett. The weekend shall include lectures, seminars, games,
performances of an artistic nature, and much more.
Of course, there will be a chance to experience one of UU's famous
big dinners at Gaudy Night, and for those able to stay an extra day,
on July 9th there will be a Winery and Gourmet Tour. After all,
there's nothing wizards like more than dining and whining.
Young Stibbons told me to include the following nonsense:
You can find out more information and purchase tickets by
Looking on the website: http://ausdwcon.org
Liking us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/UnseenUni
Following us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UnseenUni
Sending enquiries via email to: UnseenUni2012@...
Archancellor, Unseen University
View this memorandum as a video at:
13.3 SADWCON NEWS
Remember, it's not too early to register for next year's inaugural
South African Discworld convention!
To register, and for further info:
13.4 DWCON 2012 NEWS
"The Discworld Convention is a four-day celebration of Sir Terry
Pratchett and his glorious astrochelonian-riding pachyderm-borne
creation. The 2012 event will take place from the 24th to the 27th
of August (the UK Bank Holiday weekend) at the Hilton Metropole
Hotel, in Birmingham. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Man
Himself will be in attendance.
"This is your chance to spend a long weekend in the company of ...
errr ... 799 or more fellow fans, get to know them, learn
interesting things, take in a show, spend all your money at an
auction, and incidentally have a great deal of fun whilst doing it.
"Convinced? Click this link and buy a membership.
" Not all of them are fellows."
14) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
14.1 GOING POSTAL IN GRANTHAM
The Grantham Dramatic Society are presenting their production of
Going Postal in November and December.
When: Wednesday 30th November and Thurs 1stSat 3rd December 2011
Venue: Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham, Lincs NG31 6PZ
Time: 7.30pm nightly
Tickets: for Wednesday 30th November, £8.00 (£7.00 concessions);
for Thursday 1st to Saturday 3rd December, £9.00 (£8.00
Group discount: book 8 tickets or more and get £1 off every ticket.
Offer may not be used in conjunction with concession rates or any
To purchase tickets online:
"There's still time to get involved! Want to get involved? The show
is now fully cast, but you could get your first taste of performing
by being a citizen or postman no lines, but plenty of fun. We
also need people to get stuck in backstage, helping with costumes,
sets and promotions. If you like to have a laugh and want to express
your creativity, please come along. Graphic Designers particularly
welcome! A warm welcome and a nice cuppa await you!"
Rehearsals: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7.30pm at the Green Room.
Please contact us before you come, so we know to expect you.
14.2 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN EDMONTON, ALBERTA
Walterdale Playhouse will be performing Wyrd Sisters in
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from 30th November to 10th December 2011.
Tickets are $12.00 CAD to $16.00 CAD. To book, and for more
information, go to:
14.3 MORT THE MUSICAL SEEKS PERSONNEL
Perhaps they should go to a hiring fair...
"Youth Music Theatre UK is looking for actors, singers, dancers,
musicians and stage managers aged 11 to 21 for performances next
year. Auditions will take place at The Junction, Cambridge, on
February 18, a two-and-a-half hour session of dance, drama and
singing workshops led by a professional director, choreographer and
musical director. The theatre's 2012 programme includes performances
of Terry Pratchett's Mort The Musical and Macbeth."
To book a place for an audition and workshop, go to:
For more information contact Katherine Camps Kilgour on 07958 649502
or email katherine@....
15) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
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). 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 5th December 2011 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 5th December 2011. 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 5th December 2011 at The
Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco. For more information contact:
Daniel Hatton at daniel_j_hatton@...
16) DISCWORLD DISCUSSION
At Roundworld's Bugarup University, aka the long-serving Discworld
discussion group ozdw, the "university's" resident werewolf
librarian (Libwolf) makes some criticisms about Snuff and is
rebutted by Steven, keeper of the campus 50-foot-tall nanobots.
WARNING: there's a certain amount of spoilage here, so if you
haven't read the book yet and don't want to know too much in
advance, scroll down very quickly *NOW*!!!
Libwolf proposes, Steven disposes:
The villain? We barely meet him, let alone get an idea of his
motivation. Lord Rust is about honor, glory, prestige and breeding!
Rust junior just seemed to be out to make a buck in a very morally
ambiguous way. From memory, there's no real confrontation between
Vimes and Rust Jnr Vimes just throws monkey wrenches into his
I would have thought "making a quick buck as fast as possible
without giving a damn who suffers" was a very *realistic* motive for
And again, the lack of confrontation is very true to life. In real
life, and despite the fantasy elements, Discworld does often reflect
real life, the *real* bad guys don't get thrown into their own pool
of piranhas no matter how much they deserve it. Instead, they often
become a "motivational speaker" and earn half a million dollars a
shot to tell self-serving lies about how great they are and what
clever decisions they made while running the country (into the
ground), or retire quietly to enjoy their ill-deserved wealth.
Gravid Rust has his father's sense of entitlement and arrogance, but
lacks his honour, bravery and sense of duty. He is, in a word,
decadent. I don't know if that's *actually* realistic about the sons
of arrogant aristocrats, but it *feels* realistic. Presumably, if
William de Worde had been the first born son, he too would have
inherited all of Lord de Worde's evilness but without whatever good
points he may have. If any.
Speaking of Lord de Worde, his decision in "The Truth" to leave
Ankh-Morpork for a while instead of hanging around to explain
matters to Vetinari isn't that much different from Gravid Rust being
sent to Fourecks without his supper. Privilege has it's privileges.
Reacher Gilt only ended up where he did because he didn't have a
wealthy, privileged family to protect him.
Characters acting oddly: Sibyl is oddly passive the Rusts have
intruded onto her family land and harmed the helpless but she
doesn't stand up and shout, she waits until Sam has done something
about it. Long way from the Nightgown and Broadsword Sibyl or
Operatic Dwarf intimidator Sibyl.
I've only read the novel once, perhaps I should read it again, but
as I recall it, Sybil (note spelling) doesn't *know* what has
happened until Sam did something about it. You can't really blame
her for not charging in with guns blazing when she wasn't aware
that there was any reason to do so.
Perhaps you are confusing her for a sibyl, in which case she would
have known all about it before it happened. *wink*
Nobby & Colon Fred being greedy and snatching something shiny and
unknown? The grab would be Nobby, Fred has always come across as
I think that's a fairly dubious criticism. It wasn't a sudden
snatch, as Nobby might have done when no-one was looking. It was
Colon claiming something valuable that he considered his. Anyone
might have picked up the Soul of Tears, or at least anyone who
wasn't an Igor or a Dwarf who had heard stories about the strange
mystical powers of goblin unggue pots, particularly if they weren't
bright enough to think that something that could make a cigar weep
could possibly do other things as well.
But still, it can't hurt you if you just pick it up, right? It's not
like it will bite...
Willikins In his other appearances, he's been polished, reserved.
In Snuff, he comes across as a street thug more Jason Stratham
than Stephen Fry. 'you're a possible threat to my family, so I'm
gonna kill ya' attitude is new.
Are you talking about the same Willikins who bit off someone's nose
in "Jingo", knifed a dwarf assassin with an ice pick in "Thud", and
followed up by firing a flame thrower down the tunnel the dwarfs
came up from? Yes, I can see why you might think Willikins seems
out of character to you in "Snuff". *wink*
If I had a (mild) criticism, it is that PTerry has used the same
trope at least twice now, first with Pepe in "Unseen Academicals",
and now with Willikins: just when you think the bad guy is going to
escape to cause trouble, the badass sidekick gives him a lecture
about morality and then gives him his just deserts.
17) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
Seasonal miniatures from PJSM prints! The two newest Discworld
miniatures are "Death as the Hogfather" and "Pixie Albert". Each is
a "30mm scale, high quality, metal cast miniature" provided with a
"30mm premium plastic round base" and, as always, requires assembly
Hogfather Death is priced at £8.50. Pixie Albert is priced at £7.50.
PJSM Prints asks their customers to take note of guaranteed last
ordering dates for merchandise for pre-Hogswatch arrival:
UK and Europe 9th December 2011
USA/Canada 2nd December 2011
Rest of the world 26th November 2011
18) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
"A Russian toddler got a big surprise when a huge orangutan tried to
plant a kiss on him. Russian photographer Olga Dmitrieva captured
the incredible moment when the giant mammal leant forward to mimic
the boy's pose at Moscow Zoo, the Daily Mail reported. 'It was an
amazing thing to witness,' Ms Dmitrieva said. The little boy
wasn't fazed by his close encounter with the orangutan, looking it
straight in the eye and kissing it back..."
The photo on its own:
A lovely moody shot of a well-chilled (or slightly frozen) Author:
Combining two famous Discworld references, a humorous vegetable
...and lastly, a hedgehog can never be, you know, but it *can* be
given a bath. Daww!
19) DISCWORLD AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
Blogger Micah Griffin, reviewing Snuff, completely *gets* it:
"The way Terry Pratchett treated goblins in this was awesome. There
are some super deep and nuanced social commentaries in there as well
as some awesome culture building. The goblins are treated here like
they are the low rung of the social fantasy race ladder. The idea
being that they're vermin, and have been treated so poorly for so
long by absolutely everyone else on Discworld that they have
developed a culture around the very idea that they deserve every bad
thing that happens to them. The way this plays out is a special kind
"Young Sam. I defy you to find me a better written six year old...
Pratchett totally nails the complete arrogance of a six year old.
Not only this but he nails the complete lack of self awareness that
six year olds can have at times. He also just nails six year old
smarts. Young Sam is a super genius child. He's a very smart six
year old with a very particular interest. He knows a lot about this
particular thing and is more than willing to talk to you about like
you could give even half a damn...
"Class Struggles. This book has some extremely smart ways of
discussing class issues in what is a clearly defined class society.
It puts out all the archetypes for you to look at and examine. Terry
goes about this with clearly skilled precision and nuance. I guess
it's one of those things where it's just clear that Terry spent a
lot of time ironing out all the pieces he wanted to use. Nothing
here is shallow. One of my favorite examples is the hot headed
working class man who openly speaks out against the idea of a class
system. What makes him great is that, while played for laughs, he
isn't made a joke of. He voices real concerns and those concerns are
addressed. It looks at what could potentially be wrong with where
that righteous indignation is pointed. The more important part, for
me, is that he's never made to lose his fire..."
Blogger The Heretic loved the Hogfather DVD:
"Although I loved The Color of Magic, Hogfather has to be my
favorite of the two made for tv versions of the respective Discworld
novels. Especially since Susan Sto Helit (played by Michelle
Dockery) is my favorite character of Discworld. Another cool thing
was seeing the inclusion, even though it was rather short, of the
Death of Rats, the Grim Squeaker. Another thing I love is seeing
Death trying to fill the role of the Hogfather, trying be and act
jolly, while shouting 'Ho! Ho! Ho!' with that emotionless skull of
Blogger Siany, aka Two Scones and a Milkshake, still hasn't read any
Discworld *books* but counts herself as a major Pratchett and
Discworld fan by way of having played Discworld games for years and
then having discovered Discworld on the magic box:
"My Discworld discovery then continued two years ago, now out of
University, when I finally came to find myself settling down in
front of the TV at Xmas time to see The Colour of Magic just
starting on BBC1. Here is where it got good for me. The humour is
one of the things I love the most; the bizarre, amazing, peculiar,
brilliance of the world that is Ankh Morpork, the flying turtle, the
elephants, the people, the wizards and everything else under the sun
it all just enchanted me in a way that I haven't been enchanted
since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The humour in it all is
the best and I can fully see now why Mr Pratchett has achieved the
fame that he has he simply has one of the most amazing
imaginations in the universe. Period...."
Blogger Kate Paulk reviews Snuff and admits to "fangirl squee":
"As usual I finished up awed by the man's skill and wondering why I
bothered when I can't hope to ever get close to that. Then all the
layered bits started clicking together, which means I'm even more in
awe, especially as the man freely admits he's an extreme pantser (he
doesn't exactly use those words, but that's what it comes down
to)... This is one of Pratchett's best, possibly even his best so
far, and it had me between laughing and reaching for the kleenex. A
word of warning. Don't start it in the evening unless you're
prepared for a very late night..."
Author and blogger Devon Ellington has written a paean to a
Discworld character we all know and love:
"Death is quite a character thoughtful, resourceful,
intelligent, kind when appropriate, gets the job done. AND HE ALWAYS
SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. One of my favorite novels in the series
is HOGFATHER, where Death steps in to take over when the Hogfather
(a Discworld variation on our Father Christmas) disappears. His
genuine puzzlement when he sits down and takes small children on his
lap to hear their wishes for Hogfather Night and how that does not
go well, is both touching and hilarious.
"Death is logical. Death knows when our time is up. Death likes a
good conversation as much as the next fellow. Death does not suffer
fools gladly. Death is practical. Death has a sense of humor, albeit
a (ahem) deadly one.
"Personifying Death the way Pratchett does makes the inevitable more
palatable, somehow. The method of your personal death may not be
particularly pleasant, but Death is there to give you a hand up to
your next destination. The destination is determined by the way
you've lived your life, and what you BELIEVE you deserve, but you
are not alone..."
Blogger Princess Alyeska is back with her review of Snuff:
"Vimes is definitely my favourite Discworld character. Watching him
develop from the broken, drunken man in Guards Guards to the
reluctant Duke in his later stories has been a privilege. However,
as some other reviewers have written of Snuff, it does make it
difficult to develop the character further. So, if we assume that
the character is as he is and this is just another episode in his
life, this is still an interesting story...
Blogger The Incurable Bluestocking isn't unreservedly in love with
"This is a book that I always feel like I should like better than I
do. It has the right ingredients the Lancre Witches, mythical
creatures, general snarkiness and yet something about it always
falls flat for me. I suspect in some ways it's because this book
bears too many resemblances to Lords and Ladies which I love,
but I'd rather read something with new themes than a re-hashing.
There are a lot of similarities... Nothing's wrong with any of it,
but you do get a bit of a feeling of having been there before... The
book picks up once Granny comes out of her sulk, and then out of her
coma, and spends some time wandering about with Omnian preacher
Mightily Oats. The entire dynamic between Mightily Oats and the
witches is pretty great, actually, largely because of how Esme's and
Gytha's respective prejudices bounce off of milquetoasty Mightily...
The story picks up even further when the citizens of Uberwald
finally steel themselves to revolt against their vampire masters
(with a little inspiration from Agnes/Perdita). The re-emergence of
the old Count, a classic vampire who'll have none of this modern
nonsense, is one of the best scenes in the book..."
...but blogger Blogging Mary gives Night Watch 5 out of 5 stars:
"Night Watch is an expertly constructed book that writes time travel
a notoriously difficult story element very well. The basic
crux of the book is that, through very interesting circumstances
(Ankh-Morpork is a very interesting place, after all) Sam Vimes is
sent back through time to a year he knows quite intimately. Yes,
Vimes finds himself in the year during which he first started
working for the Watch. I remember reading this on the back cover
synopsis of Night Watch several months ago when I'd just finished
and put down The Fifth Elephant. It's just one of those things that
blows you away, as a reader. I mean, to send Vimes back in time is
one thing, but to send him back to a time where he most definitely
will encounter his past self is fantastic. Not only does that mean
the story will be carefully crafted and and complex, it also has the
potential for absolutely catastrophic results. In other words:
woohoo!... This book was utterly enjoyable thanks to Vimes' just
being his awesome self, the mystery of why lavender is so meaningful
to so many members of the Watch, and the cast of characters that we
meet all over again in a different time..."
Blogger Malle Vallik loves Pratchetts, especially as audiobooks:
"He was one of my summer reading discoveries (on my 2 week cottage
vacations I like to read an author's oeuvre) perhaps about 5 years
ago. It has to be before digital reading became my primary
experience, because I own his books in print. They take up an entire
bookcase shelf. I love him because he is funny, smart, clever and he
likes people. He is a gifted satirist, but his books are
overwhelmingly hopeful... His stories are meant to be read out loud,
and the narrator, Stephen Briggs, is outstanding. He captures a wide
cast of characters with specificity and accuracy. (There's nothing
worse than when the voice sounds wrong; not at all like the voice in
your head for the character..."
Blogger Mike Finn reviews ISWM:
"What makes this an exceptional book, even for Terry Pratchett is
the development of the young witch of the Chalk, Tiffany Aching. I
confess to having fallen a little in love with Tiffany Aching in the
previous books. She is brave, selfless and determined to do the task
in front of her even when the task is immeasurably bigger than she
is. This is the book where Tiffany grows up. There is almost a sense
that Pratchett is saying goodbye to her and launching her into her
adult life. In this book, Tiffany comes to understand that doing the
right thing is a choice that may set her so far apart that she may
have no route to a normal happy life. She also starts to see the
danger that what starts as setting yourself apart can become setting
yourself above... The title of the book "I shall wear midnight"
highlights another strong theme in the book: doing things in their
right season. Tiffany Aching pushed herself to be a witch of the
Chalk when she was still a child. Her childhood was the price she
paid for that. Yet Tiffany declines to wear black, Tiffany wants to
join in the dance of life, Tiffany is willing to die to protect what
needs to be protected but she'd rather live and love and grow..."
Blogger Tophat reviews Snuff:
"This is the first DiscWorld novel I've read where the action
isn't central on Ankh-Morpork, and honestly I didn't think I'd
miss the city as much as I did when I started reading the novel.
It's chaotic there, and interesting to boot, with different races
of people and monsters coming together to eke out an existence in an
unusual world. I can see why Vimes would miss the place... As a
Vimes Novel, I actually prefered Thud! and Night Watch more, though
that may be because Ankh-Morpork is a fantastic setting for any
book. Snuff is a bit slower paced, which is fine, but the real
action in the novel is in watching Vimes systematically tear apart
the argument of everyone around him just through sheer force of
will. Vimes is an avatar of justice, and at this point in his life
he's good at what he does, even if what he does skirts the
boundaries of what's legal or not..."
Another Snuff review, by blogger Morgan Lewis:
"Snuff builds on the already-complex foundations of Sam's
character established in the earlier novels by putting him in a
situation where he has to choose between being lawful and being
good. How does a man who has always taken a hard stance against
vigilantism react when faced with something that, while monstrously
wrong, might not, technically, be illegal? Making this particularly
challenging is that Sam's stance against vigilante action has
always been driven largely from his fear, not of what others would
do, but of what he himself would do without the restraints of the
law... One aspect of the book that's a bit of a mixed bag is the
heavy racial themes in the novel. The goblins are subjected to
confinement, slavery, abuse, genocide, basically every evil that has
ever been perpetrated in the name of racial domination. It makes
Snuff a markedly darker book than most in the series, even compared
to those that also deal with heavy issues and/or racial issues..."
Blogger Brian Jane has come to the Discworld by way of Mort:
"Death's interview with the employment agent provided one of the
funniest scenes of the book, and the gem of a line: "It would seem
that you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever Have you
thought of going into teaching?" Pratchett doesn't often let his
comedy get in the way of telling the story. From chapter to chapter,
I never was sure what I'd read next..."
Blogger manytoomany enjoyed Thief of Time:
"I'm pretty sure I've liked all of his Discworld stuff (all of
his non-Discworld stuff too, actually), and this one was no
exception... Someone is trying to make a clock that's so accurate,
it'll cause the world to end (that sounds a bit silly now that
I'm typing it [and some of the characters thought so too], but
Pratchett sold it pretty well). Meanwhile, hubwards, Lu Tze (an old,
wise, and ridiculously kick-ass monk) has picked up an apprentice
who seems suspiciously good at the kind of time manipulation that
novice monks are supposed to have to spend decades to be able to do.
Things race towards a suitably epic conclusion (Pratchett pulls out
all the stops here, introducing us to two new and mighty
anthropomorphic personifications Time and Chaos); there's a
fan-service (but warranted) guest appearance from Nanny Ogg, and the
reappearance of Igors; and there's humour galore (some of it based
on particularly deft and witty observations of the kung-fu genre)...
I don't know if what I read here was new, but it definitely felt
fresh. I don't know how he does it, but this book was as much fun
to read as the ones he wrote two decades ago..."
At Fantasy Book Review, Joshua S. Hill gives Snuff 10/10:
"I had Snuff finished in just over a day from when it arrived. I
took it slowly, because you don't want to rush good things like
Terry Pratchett. While there is an almost infinite amount of re-
readability to Pratchett's works, the first time is always
special, and you want to savour it... I was a little wary because
the blurb pretty much told us [Vimes] wouldn't be hanging around
Ankh-Morpork, as he would be on holiday with his wife, Sybil, and
his son, Young Sam. But I should never have worried, as Pratchett
has once again provided us with a book that, in all honesty, leaves
me unable to rate it very well. At this point, I can pretty much
only rate Pratchett books against other Pratchett books... The
underlying political and moral alignment of Pratchett is very
obvious, but it never comes across as preachy. The lessons learned
and the insights gained are ones that we can either take on board,
or we already have..."
The Labyrinth Librarian loves Carpe Jugulum:
"First of all, we get a better look at Perdita/Agnes Nitt. Yes,
she's the Third Witch, but she's more at home being a witch than
Magrat ever was. Perdita is two witches in one, and they don't
like each other very much a volatile combination. And as the
newcomer, Agnes has the unenviable role of being the stand-in for
the reader. She gets a lot of explanation that seems redundant to
loyal followers of the Discworld series, but I guess new readers
have to come in somewhere. Secondly, we get to play around inside
Granny Weatherwax's head again, which is always fun... Another
really neat thing about this book is that we finally get to revisit
the Omnians, who were introduced as a fanatical theocratic people in
Small Gods. Time has tempered the Omnians, who are now the Discworld
equivalent of the Jehovah's Witnesses. An Omnian missionary has
come to Lancre, and he gets caught up in the battle against the
vampires as well, and it turns out that, well, the Omnians aren't
that bad anymore. Since the Prophet Brutha gave them permission to
think for themselves, the Church has schismed so many times that it
finally comes down to a schism in one member, Brother Oats. Like
Agnes, he's of two minds about the world, and neither of them
really get along..."
...and blogger Zoya was won over by Making Money:
"The story was a bit too long with a tendency to describe the
mundane stuff but the humor was so good that it kept me going.
Lipwig tries to blend it as smoothly as a wallpaper but ends up
standing out due to his ability to entertain people and his love to
flirt with danger. The book also brings out the humor and patience
from Lord Vetinari. The unsung hero/victim of the book though is
Mavolio Bent or Mr. Bent the chief cashier with a dark past which is
unravelled at a gradual pace. I previously resisted reading 'Going
Postal' simply because it seemed boring but I've added it back
to my TBR..."
20) ROUNDWORLD TALES: CLOOTIE DUMPLINGS
Many a native of Ankh-Morpork will wax lyrical about the joys of a
dessert known as clootie dumpling. But how many of you knew that
this dessert exists in Roundworld?
A Clootie Dumpling is "a rich dark fruitcake served as a dessert,
like a Christmas pudding. It is boiled or steamed in a cloot (or
cloth). Until the recent past, clootie dumplings were made as a
birthday treat for children and, like Christmas Puddings, were often
made containing sixpences. The dictionary definition doesn't explain
that a clootie dumpling has a major difference from a Christmas
pudding in that it has a 'skin' around the outside when steamed and
dried properly. The clootie dumplings I remember, which my
grandmother baked, only ever had one sixpence in them and it always
mysteriously managed to be in the pudding bowl of whichever
grandchild was having the birthday at the time..."
This page even includes a recipe for a thoroughly modern clootie
dumpling that you can make in your microwave:
Clootie Dumpling is traditionally served warm with custard. It's
also traditional to fry any leftovers the next day as part of a
cooked breakfast. Not surprising, as the Scots also traditionally do
this to Christmas cake!
A more traditionally-prepared recipe can be found here:
21) LATE BREAKING NEWS
21.1 The Author, chatting with the excellent Simon Mayo on Drivetime
at the BBC:
21.2 "This is just a tribute..." For the Quirmophiles among us, a
new Death-centric collection of stories in homage to Sir Terry
Pratchett's oddly lovable anthropomorphic personification is being
released this week courtesy of the French site fan2fantasy. "Hommage
a Sir Terence" features eleven stories, and the beautiful
commissioned cover art is by Paul Kidby himself:
It's action replay time again! Here be some wonderful iconographs
from the 2008 NADWcon, well worth revisiting:
Best Cosmo Lavish impersonator in Roundworld?
Mad Hamish and charming young, um, assistant:
The lovely ladies Emily and Anna fear not the glom of nit:
And that's all from us for the moment. Stand by for your monthly
horoscope Fernando assures me it will be a good one!
The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
Copyright (c) 2011 by Klatchian Foreign Legion