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WOSSNAME -- Main issue -- December 2011

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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion December 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 12, Post 1)
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 26, 2011
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      December 2011 (Volume 14, Issue 12, 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



      04) "SNUFF" REVIEWS
      06) ISWM FREEBIE
      21) CLOSE



      "Pratchett is still the second most-read author in Britain today,
      behind only JK Rowling. His back catalogue however is the number one
      best selling of any author in the UK. His books have been translated
      into 35 languages with notable success in US, Germany, France,
      Spain, Australia and New Zealand among others. It should be noted
      that Pratchett becomes ever more popular in the US and is now the
      sixth most read non US author in the United States."

      — Australia's ABC network, in their promotional blurb for Going
      Postal, which was televised on 17th December

      "He had spent years in search of boredom, but had never achieved it.
      Just when he thought he had it in his grasp his life would suddenly
      become full of near-terminal interest. The thought that someone
      could voluntarily give up the prospect of being bored for fifty
      years made him feel quite weak. With fifty years ahead of him, he
      thought, he could elevate tedium to the status of an art form. There
      would be no end to the things he wouldn't do."

      — Rincewind yearning for a quiet life, in Sourcery (p. 142, Corgi
      1989 paperback edition)

      "I think young girls need to have their eyes opened to the different
      avenues open to them in games. They can be artists, animators,
      writers, designers, producers, programmers... We need to get them
      fired up about technology and find the Ada Lovelaces of the future.
      I think both the industry and the educational system have a role to
      play to achieve this. There are so many great female role-models
      within the games industry, but they rarely get the exposure they

      — Pratchett the Younger agitates for more women in games design,
      in an article in The Guardian



      Well. I thought this month's issue would be a short one, low on
      content. As usual, I was exactly wrong...

      We seem to have passed another critical-Pratchett-mass milestone:
      enjoying Hogfather, both the film version and the original novel, is
      becoming a traditional Christmas activity in more and more
      Roundworld homes. Who would ever have thought this would come to
      pass – and isn't it wonderful! (I have to admit that re-watching
      the entire extended Lord of the Rings is *our* tradition during the
      year's end holidays, but then we revel in the works of Pratchett all
      year anyway.) And admit it, having Hogfather on every year at this
      time is better than yet another re-run of Zulu or Dam Busters, isn't

      Right. We have news, reviews, updates and all the usual in this
      final issue of 2011, so sit back under the Hogswatch tree and enjoy!

      – Annie Mac



      In which Sir Pterry and friends sing us a seasonal carol:





      In The Telegraph, David Langford recommends Snuff:

      "Some fantasy series drag on, but Terry Pratchett's Discworld
      remains a joy. In Snuff (Doubleday, £18.99), tough cop Sam Vimes
      takes an enforced country holiday and inevitably finds crime among
      the cowpats. Pokes at aristocratic households and Jane Austen are
      seriously funny; Vimes's outrage that a racial underclass is
      reckoned too vile to merit fair treatment is, well, funnily serious.
      A highly readable, mature comedy, far from the rapid-fire quipping
      of early Discworld..."


      In the Wall Street Journal Online, Tom Shippey has nothing but
      praise for Snuff:

      "One of the strengths of Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" series, which
      has kept his readers hooked through more than 30 volumes, is that he
      keeps changing his lead characters... Vimes was the disregarded
      chief of a useless police force until Carrot arrived, but the Night
      Watch has since pioneered equal opportunities by recruiting dwarfs,
      trolls, vampires, zombies and Sergeant Angua the werewolf, not
      forgetting Wee Mad Arthur, once thought to be a gnome. Vimes has
      grown in stature accordingly and also become something of a
      political spokesman... The great thing about such a long sequence is
      that characters evolve and their relationships thicken, like an old-
      fashioned stockpot. You can keep adding new ingredients and give the
      whole lot a stir..."




      The lovely Lynsey Ogg reminds us that the Terry Pratchett Anywhere
      But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Award will indeed be taking
      its second run in 2012! Same blurb, different year:

      "We will be looking for books set at any time, perhaps today,
      perhaps in the Rome of today but in a world where 2000 years ago the
      crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John
      F Kennedy's game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong.
      It might be one day in the life of an ordinary person. It could be a
      love story, an old story, a war story, a story set in a world where
      Leonardo da Vinci turned out to be a lot better at Aeronautics. But
      it won't be a story about being in an alternate Earth because the
      people in an alternate Earth don't know that they are; after all,
      you don't.

      "But this might just be the start. The wonderful Peter Dickinson
      once wrote a book that could convince you that flying dragons might
      have existed on Earth. Perhaps in the seething mass of alternate
      worlds humanity didn't survive, or never evolved — but other
      things did, and they would have seen the world in a different way.
      The possibilities are literally endless, but remember, it's all on
      Earth. Maybe the continents will be different and the climate
      unfamiliar, but the physics will be the same as ours. What goes up
      must come down, ants are ant-sized because if they were any bigger
      their legs wouldn't carry them. In short, the story must be
      theoretically possible on some version of the past, present or
      future of a planet Earth."


      1. By entering this competition, you agree to accept and be bound by
      these terms and conditions. All entry instructions form part of the
      terms and conditions of this competition.

      2. This competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over who is a
      resident of the UK, other countries of the British Commonwealth, and
      the Republic of Ireland, except for employees (and their families)
      of Transworld Publishers, a division of The Random House Group
      Limited (Publisher) and any other company connected with the

      3. The closing date for the competition is 31st December 2012
      (Closing Date).

      4. Each entrant must submit the following in order to enter the

      (a) a complete and previously unpublished work of fiction of not
      less than 80,000 words and not more than 150,000 words aimed at
      adult readers and written in the English language (Novel); and (b) a
      synopsis of the Novel in the English language of no more than 600
      words, (together, Entry).

      5. Each Entry must:

      (a) be emailed to the Publisher at pratchettprize@transworld-
      publishers.co.uk; (b) include the entrant's full name and contact
      details (including a home address and a telephone number); and (c)
      be submitted as a Word document with double spacing in font size 12
      point 'Times New Roman'.

      6. Each entrant warrants to the Publisher that:

      (a) they have not previously had a full length novel written or co
      authored by them (under any name) published under a valid ISBN; and
      (b) their Novel is original to them, does not infringe copyright or
      any other intellectual property right and does not defame or invade
      the privacy rights of any third party, or infringe any other legal
      rights, regulations or laws.

      7. Each entrant can submit one Entry only, and may not re-submit
      work that was entered for the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award in

      8. The winning entrant will be offered an advance payment against
      royalties of £20,000 on entering into a publishing contract with
      the Publisher (Prize) and will be required to agree to license
      exclusive world publishing rights in all print, electronic, audio
      and any other media formats in the Novel to the Publisher on
      acceptance of the Prize. At the Publisher's discretion, shortlisted
      entrants may also be offered publishing deals with the Publisher.
      Subject to any such contractual agreement, entrants will retain
      their legal rights to their Entries.

      9. Entries that do not comply with these terms and conditions (by
      example Entries received after the Closing Date) will not be
      accepted by the Publisher. The Publisher is not responsible for
      delayed or lost Entries. Entrants are advised to retain a copy of
      their Entries.

      10. A shortlist of six entrants will be contacted by the Publisher
      by 31st March 2013. The publisher will select the winner from the
      shortlisted entrants and the winner will be announced by 31st May

      11. Events may occur that render the awarding of the Prize
      impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Publisher and
      the Publisher may, at its absolute discretion, vary, amend, suspend
      or withdraw the Prize with or without notice.

      12. Winning and shortlisted entrants agree to the Publisher's use
      and publication of their name, country of residence and photograph
      in relation to the Publisher's publicity activities.

      13. The Publisher will use the personal details of entrants only for
      the purpose of this competition. Personal details will not be kept
      on file by the Publisher and will not be passed on to any third

      14. The shortlisted entrants and winner's names will be available on
      www.terrypratchett.co.uk from 31st March 2013 and 31st May 2013 (as

      15. The Publisher's decision is final and no correspondence will be
      entered into in relation to this competition. No cash alternative
      will be offered.

      16. These terms and conditions are subject to English law and the
      exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

      17. The contact details of the promoter of this competition are:
      Transworld Publishers, 61-3 Uxbridge Road, London W5 5SA,

      To read the original page on the web, go to:



      06) ISWM FREEBIE

      "An extract from I Shall Wear Midnight is featured in the FREE
      OtherRealms ebook sampler. Go to the OtherRealms Facebook page for
      details and the chance to win a PS3":





      By Rocco Sansone at ReviewFix:

      "Unlike some other holiday movies, this one delivers a holiday
      message that we all can get behind. It's not corny and unoriginal.
      Not to mention the comedy is very well done too. That is, if you can
      handle the dry, stuffy British humor that permeates the movie
      throughout. The humor itself is not forced and, if you can handle
      it, will make you burst out in laughter. It should be said the
      actors are the best part. Marc Warren is excellent as Teatime. He is
      scary, cunning, crazy, weird and an all around great villain. You
      can tell he's having fun in this role. Michelle Dockery pulls off
      Susan's sarcastic personality perfectly. The only problem with her
      is that they got the hair wrong.

      "The best performance by far is by Ian Richardson. His voiceover for
      Death is funny, scary, mysterious, ominous and just all around
      great. There's no better actor for the job. There are a few
      downsides for this movie though. One of them is that some people may
      find it a tad too long. At 189 minutes, it should be taken in two
      parts just like how it originally ran on the BBC..."




      By Lissa Christopher in WA Today:

      "This two-part adaptation of Terry Pratchett's 'comic sci-fi' novel
      is a good old-fashioned ripping yarn. I can't fault it and was held
      in thrall for its entirety. It looks beautiful, the performances are
      strong and the characters sublime – from Stanley Howler, who's
      obsessed with pins, to the unctuous, titanium-white Mr Gryle, a
      banshee assassin played by Adrian Schiller..."


      By Tim Elliott in the Brisbane Times:

      "I have a friend who works in a post office; he says he can't decide
      what is most disturbing – his fellow staff members or the
      ceaseless procession of urban undead otherwise known as the general
      public. Moist von Lipwig might know how he feels. A lifelong
      travelling con artist, von Lipwig (Richard Coyle) is finally caught
      and convicted in the fantastical land of Ankh-Morpork. Faced with
      death by hanging, he is spared on the condition he take over running
      the decrepit local post office. Adapted from the novel by Sir Terry
      Pratchett, this hyperkinetic comical fantasy brims with Gothic
      indulgences: the bloodthirsty tyrant, Reacher Gilt (David Suchet),
      the hilariously anal junior employees and Mr Pump, the resident
      golem, who resembles nothing so much as a bald, slime-covered




      In The Guardian, John Mullan includes Susan Sto Helit in his list of
      top ten fictional governesses:

      "Hogfather by Terry Pratchett Susan Sto Helit, grand-daughter (by
      adoption) of Death himself, is a thoroughly sensible young
      governess: 'She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself
      dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death
      with her own umbrella.' She educates two children and, gifted with
      supernatural powers, can also protect them from the monsters under
      the bed."




      10.1 Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die continues to garner praise and
      spark debate.

      The Radio Times, official television weekly publication of the BBC,
      lists it among its top 40 programmes of 2011:

      "A fog of manufactured media outrage almost engulfed this profoundly
      important documentary where author Terry Pratchett asked difficult
      questions about the right to self-determination. The hysteria was
      provoked by the on-screen assisted suicide of Peter Smedley,
      debilitated by motor neurone disease and absolute in his conviction
      that he wished to die with dignity by his own hand. Choosing to Die
      was haunting and sad, without being ghoulish or intrusive."


      10.2 In The Examiner, disabled journalist Martina Robinson wrote at
      length about her reactions to the programme. All special-interests
      advocates (Terry Pratchett included!) have their axes to grind, and
      Ms Robinson is no exception, but her review is worth reading:

      "In 2011, famed fantasy author Terry Pratchett precipitated in a
      documentary on the BBC he interviewed English people with various
      amendments about whether or not they would end their lives and why.
      He followed two men to Switzerland and actually stayed with one of
      them while they performed the procedure. He also interviewed one man
      who lived in a hospice and was not choosing to end his life. As a
      disability rights activist and someone who has profound difficulties
      with the idea that anyone for any reason would choose to end their
      life voluntarily, this review was difficult to write...

      "On the whole, I thought that the movie was very well made and
      thought-provoking. I was a little disappointed that they did not
      have anyone who was opposed to assisted suicide in the documentary.
      I always thought the BBC was a little more evenhanded than that. I
      also like the fact that anyone with an Internet connection can watch
      the documentary free..."



      An article-interview in by Charlotte Heathcote in The Express:

      "If you were looking for signs of Alzheimer's, (or, to be specific,
      his particular form of the disease: posterior cortical atrophy,
      which he has described as sitting 'on top of Alzheimer's') you would
      be hard pushed to find them. On one occasion, he forgets who wrote a
      book he liked. Talking about Nation, his moral story for children,
      he says the book dragged him through a field of 'tissues' then he
      pauses until the word 'thistles' comes to him (and he blames the
      blip on the large brandy he's enjoying over our lunch). Which means
      he's no different to anyone who hasn't been diagnosed with
      Alzheimer's. Now 63, he was only 59 when he was diagnosed but thus
      far, at least, he feels the disease hasn't had a great impact on
      most aspects of his day-to-day life. 'I know I've got it because
      I've seen the scans,' he concedes. Otherwise, because the disease
      means he doesn't always see what's before him, the main irritant is
      that he can no longer drive. 'I was having some difficulties
      driving. It was just more stressful and made me wonder what was
      going on so it was a big relief to get shot of it,' he says
      philosophically. After all, he has his wife Lyn and assistant Rob to
      chauffeur him around. In fact, as far as he's concerned, the main
      change is more spiritual than physical: 'I have nothing else to
      fear,' he says. Pratchett has done a remarkable job in highlighting
      the appalling lack of research into Alzheimer's (just three per cent
      of the funding granted to cancer), a disease which, terrifyingly,
      lies in wait for an estimated one in three of us..."


      10.4 Cook for a Cure

      For our UK readers, from the Alzheimer's Research UK team:

      "We're bringing the fight against dementia to the nation's dinner
      tables with Cook for a Cure – a dinner party with a difference!
      Hosting your own Cook for a Cure dinner party is not only a good way
      to get together with friends and family to have a great time, it's
      also a brilliant way to help raise funds for research into
      Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Choose your dishes, pick a
      theme (if you want) and ask your guests to make a suitable donation
      to attend your event. Then all you have to do is draw up your guest
      list and let the fun begin. Download the pack here:


      and you'll have all the information you need to make sure your Cook
      for a Cure dinner party goes without a hitch. You can download a
      seasonal recipe every month:


      "There are more than 820,000 people living with dementia in the UK
      and every 3.2 minutes someone else develops the disease. These
      figures are set to double within 30 years. Research is our only hope
      of finding a cure. We are the UK's leading dementia research
      charity and one of the world's top five non-government funders.
      With your support we will defeat this terrible disease – now
      let's Cook for a Cure!"

      The pack includes a Cook for a Cure Booklet, Invitations, Gift Aid
      Form, Donation Return Form, and Feedback Form.





      by Adam van Langenberg

      [Editor's note: Adam is a Fourecksian maths teacher and enthusiastic
      player of all sorts of games, virtual and physical. Having recently
      borrowed WOSSNAME's house copy of "Ankh-Morpork" and played it with
      a number of other gameheads, here is his assessment.]

      I was worried when I heard about the new "Discworld: Ankh-Morpork"
      game. Book, movie and TV-show themed board games often work better
      as something to round out the collection, rather than a game you'd
      actually want to play. Would this game live up to the Discworld name
      or would it be another version of "Star Wars: Monopoly"?

      For example, take the 2002 game, "Thud", by Trevor Truran.
      Essentially, it was an abstract game with a Discworld costume thrown
      on top. Imagine a game of chess where your side is made up of one
      piece only, but different from your opponent's. It had some
      interesting mechanisms and was by no means the worst game in the
      world, but it didn't shake my world either. It was the type of game
      that would probably require several plays before you really got into
      swing of it. Unfortunately by that time you'd probably also realised
      that it wasn't very fun.

      My worries left me when I discovered that the designer of
      "Discworld: Ankh-Morpork" was Martin Wallace. Wallace is best known
      as the creator of complex economic games such as Brass and
      Automobile. A wonderful designer for sure, but would his style of
      game really fit into a Discworld theme? Fortunately, yes.

      So how does "Discworld: Ankh Morpork" work? Each player (2 – 4)
      takes on the role of a Discworld character, such as Commander Vimes
      or Lord de Worde and attempts to take control of the city. You see,
      Lord Vetinari has disappeared and there is a power vacuum that needs
      to be filled.

      This is an area-control game. The game board is a (wonderfully
      drawn) map of Ankh-Morpork, divided into twelve areas, such as Nap
      Hill, Unreal Estate and The Shades. Players have a hand of cards
      based on Discworld which allow you to perform various actions which
      can include spreading their minions across the city, constructing
      buildings in different areas or even performing the noble art of
      assassination. Sergeant Colon, for example, lets you remove trouble
      from an area and place a minion, whereas Death lets you perform two
      assassinations and then place a building.

      Too much activity in an area can lead to Trouble and careless play
      can lead to dragons, demons or, far worse, Bloody Stupid Johnson.
      Owning buildings grants players special powers, but only one
      building can exist per area so there is often a struggle to be the
      first to build.

      What really makes this game shine is how the secret missions work.
      Each player's character is kept a secret until the end of the game
      and each has a mission to complete in order to win. For example,
      Chrysoprase needs to bring his net worth up to $50, whereas Vimes
      simply needs to prevent anybody else from winning by the time the
      cards run out. As the missions are kept secret, you must use
      deduction to determine who the other players may be, and obfuscation
      to hide your own identity. Players need to be on the lookout for
      every single victory condition that might be near completion. Clever
      players might try to meet more than one to throw off the others.

      By far, however, the best feature of this is the fact that your
      victory conditions must exist at the start of your turn. This means
      that not only do you have to achieve your goals to win, you have to
      hope that nobody else manages to ruin them before your next turn.
      This creates a very tense atmosphere. In a four-player game I played
      I met my goals three times but had to watch my opponents tear my
      plans apart twice before eventually winning.

      Some may not like the random element to the game, but others will
      find that it lends itself perfectly to the Discworld theme. There is
      a twelve-sided die included with the game that leaves out the number
      that cannot be named (it's the one between seven and nine) and
      instead bears the mark '7a'. I'm sure most Discworld fans will
      appreciate this touch. For those of you familiar with Wallace's
      work, you may have realised that this game is remarkably similar to
      "London", which only came out in 2010. In fact, "Discworld: Ankh-
      Morpork" is clearly based entirely on "London", with a few extra
      features thrown in. "London" isn't as cut-throat, but is slightly
      less luck-dependent.

      "Discworld: Ankh-Morpork" is a lot of fun, well suited to an evening
      of laughter and betrayal among friends. Best suited to a laid back,
      light hearted group of gamers, this game is well worth a look.

      ...and by Paul Goodhead on bit-tech:

      "The basic premise of the game is that Lord Vetinari, occasionally
      benevolent dictator and general Ankh-Morpork string-puller, has gone
      missing, creating a power vacuum that a number of prominent city
      figures are trying to fill. These are the roles that the players
      assume, and each role has its own victory conditions - Chrysoprase,
      for instance needs to amass a $50 fortune, while Dragon King of Arms
      needs to get eight trouble markers down on the board. The real twist
      to the game, though, is that the player roles are kept secret, so
      nobody knows who is who and, by extension, what they need to do to
      win. This make playing Ankh-Morpork a gloriously suspicious event,
      with everyone second guessing their opponents moves in order to work
      out which character they're playing, while simultaneously trying to
      move subtly towards their own stated goal. Meanwhile, throwing the
      proverbial orang-utan wrench into the works are the city-wide random
      events, which spice up the game by doing anything from burning down
      buildings to summoning a hoard of marauding demons. Thankfully,
      despite these events and the almost over the top power of some of
      the playing cards, the game never feels totally random. Those of us
      who played the game all agreed that we could pick a long term plan
      or tactic and stick to it, rather than having to just play on the




      By young reviewer Groovy Dhruv in The Guardian:

      "This book is not a must, but for a book you would read to pass the
      time the story's fine. But it is as hilarious as nothing I can
      describe in words, reading this book I was laughing so hard that the
      house shook..."




      13.1 NADWCON 2013 NEWS

      Drumroll, please: The city picked to host NADWCon 2013 is ...

      After giving this (very tough) choice a great deal of thought and
      discussion, we are delighted to announce that the CITY OF BALTIMORE
      will be the site for the next North American Discworld Convention in

      The dates are July 5th – 8th

      The con hotel is the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront located in
      Baltimore's fabulous Inner Harbor area.

      We believe that Sir Terry and the Discworld fans will be in
      experienced and capable hands with the Baltimore team and we look
      forward to working very closely with them as we support their
      preparations and plans. The steering committee members and our
      consulting team were extremely impressed with Baltimore's creative
      and well organized plans for 2013, plans detailed in a comprehensive
      bid that ultimately came in at over 30 pages. It was clear to us
      that this team is a triple threat: they have have the convention,
      stage and real world skills needed to provide an memorable, well
      organized and fun convention for all concerned.

      Both bidding cities have a great deal to offer visitors and that
      made the choice all the more difficult.

      For those of you who have not been to Baltimore before, we believe
      that you are going to love what you find. There is a great deal to
      see and do in the immediate area (and Washington D.C. is only a
      short train ride away). The inner harbor hotel they have chosen will
      fit our needs wonderfully and provide for the kind of mingling and
      meeting spaces for our guests that we feel is so important the
      success of this affair. It is also within easy walking distance of
      many interesting, historical and family-friendly sites as well as a
      wide variety of food choices and prices. The city itself is within
      easy reach for both our international and U.S. guests and the bid
      committee has given a great deal of thought to making our time there
      enjoyable. Wait till you see what they have planned!

      The bid chairs were informed yesterday, as were Terry & Rob. The
      Baltimore Chair writes:

      I would like to take the opportunity, on behalf of the bid
      committee, to thank the GoC for their hard work, effort and
      diligence in the selection process. Having spoken with (the Boston
      chair) a couple of times over the last few months I'm hoping and
      sure that there will be collaboration between the Boston and
      Baltimore bid committees in forming the convention committee at
      large over the next few weeks.

      We look forward to working with the GoC over the next few days,
      weeks and nineteen months in developing and executing the North
      American Discworld Convention for 2013. (Our staff members) will be
      touch next week to discuss the corporate structure required for the
      convention to operate efficiently and effectively.

      Yours Sincerely,

      Richard Atha-Nicholls
      Chair, North American Discworld Convention 2013

      We would like to thank both bid committees and their chairs for
      their hard work in producing these bids. Thanks also to our
      consultants who so generously gave us their time and advice and to
      the fans for their enthusiasm and patience.

      We know that our Terry, Rob and our attendees appreciate the
      dedication shown by both groups and we again offer our
      congratulations to the team in Baltimore. (1) We ask that Discworld
      fans the world over give them their full support. The members of
      the GoC and our consulting team look forward to working with all
      here to make NADWCon 2013 the best one yet.

      Update 3:55 PM Richard added this today to answer some questions
      from our Facebook fans:

      I'm excited to be chairing the Con for 2013 and look forward to
      sharing all the wonderful things we have planned in due course.
      Including, what we think, is a great hotel rate. Just bear with us
      as we get our ducks (or should that be flamingos) in a row. We'll
      let you know all the details in good time.

      Thanks and hope to see you all in Baltimore in 2013,

      See you in Baltimore ....


      13.2 AUSDWCON 2012 NEWS

      Dear Students and Staff,

      Happy Hogswatch to one and all! Exciting things are afoot at Unseen
      University in preparation for the Convivium next July in Adelaide,
      South Australia, Roundworld.

      We are pleased to announce the Guests of Honour for the Convivium are
      the following visiting lecturers:
      – Daniel Knight, Emeritus Professor of Silicate Biology and Condensed
      Metaphysics (Untied Alchemists), of Snowgum Films.
      – Pamela Munt, Superbus Professor of Vindictive Astronomy and Thespian
      Studies (Thespia), of Unseen Theatre Company.
      – Martin Pearson, Lecturer in Applied Zoology and Fretwork Teacher
      (Lancre), of... well, anywhere you hear folk music.
      You can find out more information about our guests at

      There are many lectures and other activities to keep you busy during
      the Convivium. They include the Entrance Examination, Commencement,
      Gaudy Night[1], the Maskerade, the Wizard's Excuse Me, Try Wizarding,
      the Winery and Gourmet Tours[2], and many many more. Our visiting
      lecturers shall also be contributing to the programme with a
      presentation by Snowgum Films, and performances by Martin Pearson and
      Unseen Theatre Company.

      You can see a full list of confirmed and potential activities at

      However, many activities will require volunteers to be run - so if you
      have an idea of your own, or would like to just take one from our
      suggested list, please do so!

      Those of you using social media may have seen a sneak peek at some
      special Convivium merchandise when we passed 100 Facebook and 50
      Twitter disciples. This merchandise will be available for online sale
      to anyone early in 2012[3].

      However, we are also planning to offer Convivium Attendees Only
      exclusive merchandise that will only be available to attendees. In
      order to get an idea of what sort of merchandise to offer, we would
      like you to complete a short survey for us available at

      Just a gentle reminder that if you have any questions about the
      Convivium, or would like to chat to other fans, we have forums at
      http://ausdwcon.org/forums which need love and attention!

      Of course, we are also on Facebook at http://facebook.com/UnseenUni
      and Twitter at http://twitter.com/UnseenUni

      For further information on Unseen University Convivium 2012, and to
      purchase tickets, please visit and browse through our website at

      Yours academically,

      Chair of Indefinite Studies (Programme and Activities)
      Unseen University 2012
      University of Adelaide, 6-8 July 2012

      [1] Gaudy Night is a gala dinner held on Saturday 7th July. There is
      an additional cost for this activity.
      [2] The Winery and Gourmet Tours are held on Monday, 9th July. There
      is an additional cost for these activities.
      [3] We wish to make sure the merchandise is of good quality before we
      sell it to you, so we have to wait until our own order arrives!




      "This is a challenge for a volunteer theatre group. Many of the
      Walterdale cast seemed anxious at first, performing in front of an
      almost full theatre for opening night, but they all settled into
      their roles by the mid-point, with many performing multiple roles.
      The acting overall was solid, though of course there were some
      standout performances. Witch Magrat, as portrayed by Mandy Stewart,
      was probably the most notable. As her vibrant green dress stood out
      from her otherwise black-clad coven, so, too did her acting. She
      expertly weaved her way through every scene in the ever-changing
      role, playing the naïve witch when necessary, thrusting the perfect
      emotion into her comedic lines, and easily convincing the audience
      of her love for the Fool... The other remarkable performance was by
      Andrew Mecready, who played Duke Felmet. One can't help but feel
      sorry for the Duke, obviously mentally ill, clearly delusional and
      in danger of harming himself, and even more obviously controlled by
      his Queen. His mental illness may have been brought on by killing
      his brother, a fact borne out early in the play; Mecready's
      portrayal of gouging his hands, forever attempting to rid them of
      blood long since washed away, with knitting needles, a cheese
      grater, and whatever else was handy was the perfect portrayal of the
      over-top caricature crafted by the grand Terry Pratchett..."


      ...and a lyrical, quirky blog review by lolkoenig27:

      You are at the Walterdale Playhouse on a cold and snowy Wednesday
      evening. Imagine three witches, assembling around a huge kettle...
      'Wyrd Sisters,' a play by Terry Pratchett, doesn't seem to be
      different from others plays at the first glance: There are witches
      with magical power. There is a King, who got murdered by his cousin.
      There is a homeless baby, which now is the real king since his
      father got killed, but doesn't know it yet. There is a troupe of
      traveling actors, hired to solve the problem. There is a fool, who
      is observer and adviser, but swore to be loyal to his king as long
      as he breathes. You will find yourself surrounded by the spirit of
      Shakespeare. It feels like you just traveled back in time, back to
      the 17th century. The traditional costumes used by the the
      Walterdale Theater group and the language in which the play is
      written helps you to believe that. You just entered a different
      timezone. Hamlet's hopeless whispers and Macbeth's tragedy are
      almost touchable. You might think now the play is boring, because it
      simply seems to be another Shakespeare adaption. But this is not
      quite true... A truly clever written piece full of word games,
      sarcasm and hidden winks next to tragedy, foolishness and confusion.
      You will laugh and cry. You will find yourself shocked and
      disgusted. You can feel the love Stephen Briggs brought into the



      "Although not wowed by their latest show at the Guildhall, I was
      certainly entertained, although it did take a while to get going.
      But when it did, it drew you in and the cast had me and the rest of
      the audience laughing away at times. I've reviewed a number of the
      society's productions, and am always pleased to see some familiar
      faces who always entertain. One such face belongs to Chris Dakin, a
      regular leading man who plays Moist von Lipwig. He shows a real
      confidence on stage and his lines are always read in an easy manner
      which gives his character realism... The award for best comedy
      performance has to go to Rupert Tyrer. Applause was at its loudest
      after his appearances as Igor and Mad Al. His mad gestures as Igor
      were hilarious, and although it was difficult to understand a word
      of his crazy babbling as Mad Al, his antics, and the dancing we were
      not meant to see in between scenes, were very funny! The entire cast
      did a great job, especially Kay Haw as Lord Vetinari. She really
      looked the part with her wig and goatee, and gave a convincing
      portrayal of the mysterious character. Meanwhile, Kevin O'Neill and
      Mark Brown were a great double act as Tolliver Groat and Stanley,
      two larger than life postmen..."



      "Sir Terry Pratchett's tale is loosely based on Macbeth and adapted
      for the stage by long-term collaborator Stephen Briggs. It is part
      farce, part pantomime, with a touch of Blackadder and Monty Python
      thrown in. And this upbeat yet challenging production is a bit like
      tasting Marmite – likely to get a 'love it' or 'hate it'
      reaction. Anyone with even the smallest appetite for madcap laughter
      would lap it up. It took Javea Players out of the comfort zone into
      uncharted waters and the show can be heralded a success thanks to
      the group's teamwork – a production needing the talents of the
      techies backstage as much as the actors treading the boards.
      Congratulations to team leader, director Christyn Nossell, for
      blending together skeleton scenery, computer generated scene
      changes, special effects, and some wonderful moments onstage..."




      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 2nd January 2012 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 2nd January 2012. 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 2nd January 2012 at The
      Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco. For more information contact:
      Daniel Hatton at daniel_j_hatton@...




      Another Reason Why I Want to Move to Ankh-Morpork:


      I don't know what's more depressing, the headline or the comments.

      Really? Last I looked, Vetinari wouldn't permit formation of any
      sort of fire brigade at all. At best, the Watch might step in to
      supervise standers-by on a haphazard basis. *daha*

      I thought there was a volunteer Golem fire brigade. The watch didn't
      have to do too much, since they'd begun to free themselves.

      There was. Previous books stated that the Patrician didn't like the
      idea of paying people to put out fires, since, given the Ankh
      Morpork mentality, the firemen might try to drum up business by
      setting fires.

      I swear I heard Vimes going "You do the job that's in front of you"
      in my head while I was reading that article. And he sounded pretty
      pissed off.

      ...and afterwards he'd go and see Vetinari about it to make sure
      rich folks would pay higher taxes to avoid something like this in
      the future.

      Problem here is that people don't want to pay taxes, so they changed
      the system into this travesty. If firemen accepted the fee from
      people whose house was burning down in order to put it out, no one
      would pay the annual fee at all anymore and there'd be even less
      money for the fire fighters than there's now. The next fire they
      might not even be able to put out because of lack of equipment. So
      it's really a flaw in the system. Vetinari relies on the fact that
      the city is densely populated and if YOUR house is on fire MINE is
      in danger as well, so people are motivated to help each other out in
      such a situation.




      The 2012 Discworld calendar is The Independent's number one
      recommendation on their top ten calendars list!

      £10.50 at forbiddenplanet.com — or of course from PJSM Prints:





      Stephen Player's Death. Er, that is, Death-the-anthropomorphic-
      personification as drawn by Discworld artist Stephen Player:




      On Foyles' official book blog, Ben Sweeny waxes lyrical about Snuff:

      "I think it is a beautiful book, which is something special for an
      author who's books have always had striking and idiosyncratic
      covers. For a Pratchett novel it has a style that wanders from his
      standard style and humour. As a long term fan, I found this a
      pleasant and unusual surprise. That's not to say that it is lacking
      in his trade-mark brand of humour. It contains some of his funniest
      jokes to date. I also believe that for a novel which is likely one
      of the last in the series it is curiously also one of the most


      D.A Lascelles gives us an essay titled "Terry Pratchett: Tracing the
      evolution of a writer":

      "In order to keep things simple, I am not going to discuss The
      Carpet People or any of the non-Discworld novels. I am keeping thing
      solely in the province of his best known creation... The Colour of
      Magic introduces us to the Discworld as a vibrant and chaotic
      fantasy realm and takes us on a travelogue which spans a significant
      part of the disc. We meet one of Pratchett's most memorable
      characters – the cowardly wizard, Rincewind – and are introduced
      to a plethora of characters and plotlines, each of which parodies an
      element of fantasy literature. For example, the character of Hrun
      the Barbarian is your typical musclebound thug of an adventurer, the
      classic Conan the Barbarian stereotype, while Bravd the Hublander
      and the Weasel (two characters who have brief appearances in the
      story) are clearly derived from Fritz Lieber's Fafhrd and the Grey
      Mouser. A part of the intention behind the Discworld is also to
      subvert many of the fantasy cliches and so Rincewind, our main hero
      for the first few books, is a wizard who is neither brave nor
      capable of casting spells... We also later (in the sequel, The Light
      Fantastic) get Cohen the Barbarian, the ludicrously wonderful
      subversion of the Conan schtick in the form of a barbarian hero who
      is still adventuring well into his eighties...

      "From these parodies in the early books, there slowly develops a
      complex and involved world. As the series develops we see more and
      more of the world and meet more characters. For many of the early
      books there is still the sense that Discworld is a parody of a
      fantasy realm and that Ankh Morpork, Pratchett's fantasy city, is a
      play on the concept of Lieber's Lankhmar. At some point, however,
      things change. It is a slow change and a subtle one, taking place
      over a number of novels and with the development of several
      storylines and characters. I think it begins properly with the first
      Night watch book, Guards! Guards!, as Pratchett clearly needed a
      grittier and more realistic setting for the somewhat noirish
      adventures of Captain Vimes and the members of the Night Watch..."


      Blogger Flynn the Cat has created a *very* long, detailed page
      titled "Never Start With The First Discworld Book:, about Discworld
      reading order, the evolution of Pratchett's writing, and all that
      sorta wossname, and including many instructive iconographs, video
      footage, oodles of comments threads, links, and even a poll:

      "This page is an attempt to create a starting point for people
      interested in Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series and a
      compendium of the available material and reviews here on Squidoo.
      There's a terribly shocking lack of reviews here, so I've started by
      listing all the books... If it isn't obvious, I love Pratchett's
      books. I first read The Bromeliad and The Carpet People years before
      I knew he was famous (I was around eight or ten) and later
      recognised him as the author of the Colour of Magic and the Light
      Fantastic in my high school library, when I was twelve. Of course, I
      was a compulsive reader and would have read them regardless!

      "There are some books I didn't really like the first time around —
      Mort, Making Money, Monstrous Regiment and Soul Music being examples
      — but have grown on me with rereading. Monstrous Regiment is now one
      of my favourites. Others I loved the first time, and still do —
      Thud, Maskerade, Jingo... There are definitely different styles, and
      I've noticed that the people who loved Going Postal and Making Money
      usually don't like Thud, Unseen Academicals and Night Watch as much
      (and the inverse). I love being able to play 'spot the reference'
      and guessing what storylines or themes are being parodied or
      tributed. And the puns that don't hit you for another paragraph
      still kill me — although I'm a lot more suspicious now and spot them
      much more quickly..."


      A review of Hogfather by The Incurable Bluestocking:

      "Susan is close to being my favourite thing about Hogfather, just
      because her voice is so distinct and such a joy to read... What
      Hogfather does best, though, is explore the correlation between
      belief and being human. This is something Pratchett ponders on
      frequently in his works (as does his friend Neil Gaiman) — the
      idea that belief creates gods and other figures. That is not new,
      though it's given a delightfully weird edge in Hogfather, as the
      wizards of the Unseen University start accidentally creating the Oh
      God of Hangovers and the Cheerful Fairy and the Eater of Socks (in
      whom I fervently believe now) out of the extra belief left sloshing
      around by the Hogfather's absence. But what Pratchett really does
      magnificently here is tie that capacity for belief with what it
      means to be a human, what it means to be this marvelous sentient
      creature, this marvelously narcissistic creature who thinks the
      whole universe is inside of its head and secretly believes the whole
      universe was created just to lead to its own existence...

      "For what it's worth, the move adaptation (currently available on
      Netflix Watch Instantly) is magnificent. It's remarkably true to the
      book, and what few cuts there are are ones I don't notice, because
      they trim all those parts of the books I tend to forget about
      anyway. They tighten and streamline the plot without losing the
      quirky sense of serendipity that governs Pratchett's world. It's
      joined the ranks of my must-see holiday films..."


      Blogger Jennifer Payne loves Discworld novels to bits, except for

      "The fifth book in the series, we see the return of Rincewind ...
      and that may just be my problem. Perhaps our bumbling wizard is a
      little too bumbling for me? I do like the luggage that follows him
      around, and that may be what kept me reading to page 131 – but
      beyond that, it didn't hold my interest. Usually the Gods don't
      allow wizards to get to the point where they can have an eighth son
      – preferring to let them mess about with their own diluted form of
      magic, to ward off any grabs for power or unnecessary explosions. So
      when the Unseen University receives a visit from Coin – the new
      kid on the block – they're a little unprepared for the magical
      fallout. After putting the book down half way through, I went and
      read a summary of the rest of the plot & that happily satisfied my
      curiosity until it's time for the next Pratchett extravaganza..."


      Blogger Charity mentions a new Christmas tradition:

      "I once heard a woman say 'our Christmas tradition is to make
      turnovers and watch Hogfather.' That's the British for you.
      Hogfather is a film adaptation of a satirical novel by Terry
      Pratchett. It revolves around an assassination attempt against the
      Hogfather (Santa Clause), which temporarily makes him vanish,
      leaving Death to take his place and deliver presents to the children
      of the Discworld, much to the distress of Death's granddaughter,
      Susan. Her desire to have a 'normal' Hogswatch (Christmas) goes
      astray as she tries to discern the whereabouts of the Hogfather.

      "Not everyone appreciates Terry Pratchett. His motto is 'if it
      exists, it can be made fun of.' He belittles the government, he
      takes pokes at religion, he mocks culture's fascination with
      vampires, he creates a world in which monsters actually do live
      under the bed (until Susan bangs them over the head with a poker and
      kicks them face-first out the back door into the snow) and Death is
      actually quite a likable fellow, albeit somewhat clueless when it
      comes to human traditions. Some of his books are hilarious, others
      questionable, and a few are even dull, but none of them are what you
      might call 'normal.' I like them due to my askew sense of humor..."


      Blogger Lance Schaubert pens a paean to Pterry in the form of a
      Thief of Time review:

      "My first introduction to Pratchett – Thief of Time – reminded
      me just how much scifi-fantasy and video game lore rests inside my
      subconscious. Terry made jokes about things I didn't even know I
      found funny, smashing up humor from seemingly unrelated fields in an
      amusing amalgamation of dork. Examples? The Igor with a lisp. The
      Yeti who can save his life if he senses danger (think Super Mario)
      and continue onward; if he dies, he can always start over from where
      he saved, but with the advantage of a memory of the future. DEATH's
      complete misunderstanding of jokes. The Monks of History who use
      martial arts like okie-dokie and deja-fu (time as a weapon). There's
      auditors – grey, shapeless beings who assign metrics to everything
      in the universe and explode if they taste chocolate. There's
      procrastinators – tools the Monks of History use to borrow wasted
      time from one place and insert it where time flies. There's even a
      fifth horseman of the apocalypse. The original four are DEATH,
      FAMINE, WAR, PESTILENCE. The fifth's name? Ronnie. Ronnie's a dairy
      man and outside of the otherworldy-red horse that pulls his dairy
      cart, he runs a normal business of shipping milk and cheese around
      the city. I could go on, but the experience is somewhere between
      reading Vonnegut and Douglas Adams with bits of Rothfuss's blog
      sprinkled about..."


      Blogger Dooliterature spreads to word about the Sir Terry Pratchett
      Reading Challenge 2012:

      "Ok, here's a challenge I am super excited for, as Terry Pratchett
      is my absolute favorite author. This is a challenge hosted by Once
      Upon a Time which I found via A Novel Challenge. The rules are thus:

      "Any format, any book, so long as it's Pratchett. Re-reads are also
      perfectly acceptable! Books need to be started and finished between
      January 1st 2012 and December 31st 2012. You can set your own goals,
      whether you want to read 5 books or go for the whole Discworld
      series, that is entirely up to you. Be realistic or go crazy, there
      are no penalties if you don't meet your goal, in fact the only real
      goal is to read some Pratchett..."


      Blogger and former English Lit teacher Fantasynibbles muses on the
      best way to create a new Discworld fan:

      "My Mum surprised me tonight by asking to borrow a Terry Pratchett.
      She's never read any before and I want her to love them. Now it's
      been a million years since I first got into Pratchett, and over the
      last few years I've been finding them a bit tired, which is a real
      shame. I kind of can't remember the awesomeness of loving them to
      death and racing out to get the new one each year any more. I do
      always get them, but as much out of habit now as anything else. But
      anyway, my question is this, which one would you recommend as a
      starter novel for the uninitiated? I'm thinking definitely not
      Colour of Magic or Light Fantastic. I think Mum would be a Witches
      kinda person, although I suspect she'd have a soft spot for
      Rincewind. Overall the DEATH novels are coolest though, no? Should I
      start her off with Mort? Or, given the season, maybe Hogfather would
      be a good bet? ..."


      Blogger Bronnypop is helplessly in love with our favourite Commander
      of the City Watch:

      "I first met His Grace, His Excellency, the Duke of Ankh, Commander
      Sir Samuel Vimes (Blackboard Monitor) in 1989 in Guards! Guards! (a
      book that continues to be my favourite out of all Terry Pratchett's
      novels). At the time, he was a mere Captain of the City Watch, and
      I a recently-married student. We have grown up together, Vimes and
      I, although I have not attained the heady heights of nobility and
      career stardom that he has. Like millions of fans worldwide I am
      worried that Snuff, the latest title by Pratchett, may also be his
      last, and I am both pleased and saddened that of all the characters
      and stories he could have chosen, it's Vimes who is the hero of
      Snuff... Snuff is a delight, a fabulously funny, heart-warming tale
      of mystery and murder on a policeman's holiday, that is also about
      justice and slavery, nobility and prejudice and standing up for what
      you know to be right. It is one of the very best books I have read
      recently, and has only cemented my ongoing love for Vimes, Duke of
      Ankh, Blackboard Monitor, and policeman extraordinaire..."


      Blogger Sanzbooks is delighted to have discovered Discworld:

      "What a funny book! It reminded me of Douglas Adams. I enjoyed the
      characters and the plot but mostly I enjoyed the Discworld Universe
      itself. It was so colorful, so vibrant, that it had my imagination
      fired up. I can't wait to move ahead in the series, but seeing as
      it has 39 books, I'm slightly intimidated. But I'm happy to have
      discovered this series nonetheless. Looks like Pratchett will soon
      become a favorite..."


      Blogger Dan Swindlehurst offers a long, well-made essay, The Genius
      of Terry Pratchett:

      "Why am I writing about Terry Pratchett? Well, when I was young,
      probably between the ages of about 7 and 14, I loved his books and
      have many fond memories of reading them. In 2008 I learned that
      Terry Pratchett had early-onset Alzheimer's disease, and in 2010 I
      found out that he had been involved in campaigning for the rights of
      people to commit suicide, and the right's of others to assist in
      suicide... I've recently returned to live in the UK and have been
      nostalgically revisiting my past, and picked up a copy of The Colour
      of Magic, the first Discworld book. It reminded me of how talented
      Terry Pratchett is and how crushingly depressing it is that he has
      been struck down with such an awful disease. I've begun re-reading
      the Discworld series and the shear [sic] brilliance of Pratchett's
      imagination and talent inspired me to write this post, and hopefully
      this will inspire someone else to read these books or even to go
      back and revisit them...

      "Much of the writing in the Discworld series is breathtaking. I'm
      trying to write a book at the moment and really appreciate the
      quality of Terry's prose; it's clear and simple, but insightful and
      very funny. I hardly ever laugh out loud when reading a book, but do
      laugh a number of times when reading his novels, much to the
      annoyance of anyone in the same room/bus/tram as me..."


      Blogger Random Alex has mixed feelings about ISWM — which isn't to
      say that he doesn't recommend it:

      "Overall, I have loved the Tiffany Aching books a great deal. I love
      that we have followed a character from the age of eight or so, as
      she discovers that she has to do something that will set her apart
      from everyone else, and then goes through with it anyway. I love
      that that character is a girl. I love the way Pratchett has played
      with and inverted all sorts of tiresome notions from fairy stories
      and society more generally in writing these stories. I also love
      that Tiffany is a witch, because I adore the very concept of
      Headology. Plus, Nac Mac Feegles for the win...

      Part of my trouble with this story is with the plot; not the
      details, but in some of the ways it gets places. There's a feeling
      of disconnect between some sections, of moving too abruptly from one
      idea or action-scene to the next, which made me less than
      comfortable. I liked the vibe overall, though, of dealing with
      gigantic issues from history (quite literally) at the same time as
      dealing with very personal issues. The combination of 'all witches
      are eeevil' with 'how will I live with being a witch?' made a lot of
      sense, and the two complemented each other nicely..."


      Blogger VoVatia offers a short, surprised review of Snuff:

      "Samuel Vimes, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, is on
      vacation in the country with his wife and son. If you know anything
      about Vimes, though, you know that he can't go anywhere without
      finding a crime to fight. In this case, there's a case of smuggling,
      drug trafficking, and the murder of a goblin. Not that the latter is
      really all that frowned upon, as despite the leaps in equal rights
      that have taken place on the Discworld, goblins are still considered
      basically vermin. They have their own society and language, however,
      and looking the other way when a sentient being is killed is never a
      good idea. I didn't find much humor in the story, which is fine, but
      it's kind of weird to note that a series that started out as comic
      fantasy has gotten so serious over time..."


      Blogger Dion is also well pleased with Snuff:

      "Like most Discworld books Snuff effortlessly mixes humour, satire
      and some seriously heavyweight issues and somehow manages to tell a
      rollicking good tale at the same time. It's not laugh-out-loud
      funny in that many places but there are plenty of chucklesome
      moments. There is food-for-thought aplenty but it's never forced
      down the reader's throat, rather delivered in nutritional bite-sized
      chunks... Overall Discworld fans should find Snuff like a
      comfortable old pair of hiking boots. The terrain may vary but
      there are plenty of new areas to explore, the experience is always a
      pleasure and the quality is beyond doubt..."


      Blogger Procrastin8or gets gleefully into the spirit of Hogswatch:

      "This is a wonderful tale. Death, Susan and Bilious (the 'oh god' of
      hangovers) take us on an amusing and sometimes deeply profound
      journey on the importance – not so much of Christmas in isolation
      – but of imagination, tradition and belief. Though some may
      perceive a religious message here, it is important to remember that
      Pratchett is agnostic. Any doubts about this are dispelled when
      Death tells Susan 'humans need to believe the small lies so that
      the bigger ones (such as justice) are more bearable'. The same
      conversation also contains the one amazing line that epitomises what
      this book is about: 'if Hogfather had died, the sun would not have
      risen on the Discworld, instead a flaming ball of gas would have
      illuminated it'. Pure poetry."


      Blogger Drive Me to Geek gets political in an essay titled Where's
      Sam Vimes When You Need Him: Pratchett and the "Occupy" Protests:

      "What's always drawn me in is his ability to use humor and fantasy
      to create startling clear social commentary. And he always seems to
      do it best in 'The Watch' books* and I would say it's mainly because
      of the main character, Sam Vimes. I'll fully admit that he is my
      favorite character in Discworld (and probably in my top ten
      characters in all of fiction). I was quite happy to see my affection
      was shared by Pratchett who, in a talk I attended, said that Vimes
      was among his own favorites as well. Pratchett's use of Vimes as
      tool for political commentary is so clear to me that, when we
      launched the most recent Iraq War, one of my first impulses was to
      re-read Jingo, which looks at nationalism, racism, and war…through
      the Pratchett lens of humor and fantasy...

      "There's been a lot of political analysis about the militarization
      of police and how it led to the horrors we've been seeing at the
      Occupy protests. And tucked away in a fantasy novel, written months
      before the protests began and published only a few weeks in is a
      not-so simple policeman, with a not-so simple thought... I can only
      wonder what the headlines would have been if there were only more
      Sam Vimeses on the police forces of our country...."


      Blogger Lady Garfunkel notes how Pterry can bring banking into
      fantasy *without* the politics:

      "I'd read a little Terry Pratchett a long time ago. The Carpet
      People, I believe it was, a book for children. Which was quite
      charming. Pratchett is rather acclaimed and prolific on the fantasy
      scene, and his Discworld series is very popular. There are closing
      in on forty of them, and they all take place on some kind of
      mythical flat-earth. The one I stumbled upon, Making Money, is a
      fairly recent entry and a direct sequel to something that's come
      before, from what I could gather. I wouldn't say it's the most
      exciting fantasy novel I've ever touched – it deals with banking
      and the practicality of introducing paper currency in place of the
      goldish type. But I have to praise Pratchett's style. He shares
      the absurd humor of Douglas Adams, always a welcome element. The
      funniness carries the book over the essentially boring bits about
      economy and gold-minting. Plus, there are Golems..."


      Blogger Greta van der Rol is ecstatic about Snuff:

      "In this book I giggled at a six year old boy besotted with poo
      (well, they are, aren't they)? I read the conversations between Sam
      Vimes, reluctant Duke of Ankh, Commander of the Watch, reformed
      alcoholic and one-time blackboard monitor from Cockbill Street in
      the Shades, and his patrician wife Lady Sybil, and giggled some
      more. They reminded me in many respects of my own conversations with
      my husband, accompanied by 'yes, dear' and knowing when to say
      nothing. Sir Terry described the machinations of a country manor
      house not with meticulous description but by playing out the
      interactions of the characters. He did the same with a country pub.
      As always, there is a mystery, which Sam notices because while he's
      supposed to be on holiday, is a policeman ever on holiday? We have
      unlikely characters who discover that they could be heroes,
      prejudice in its most ugly form and politics at every turn. Vimes is
      the hero, of course, but he's no Captain America. He is on the side
      of Justice despite having to prevent the dark side of his psyche
      from winning the internal battle. I was along for the ride, every
      step of the way..."

      http://gretavanderrol.net/2011/11/30/a-dark-warped-mirr<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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