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WOSSNAME -- Main issue -- February 2012

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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion February 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 2, Post 1)
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 19, 2012
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      February 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 2, 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 2012 by Klatchian Foreign Legion



      19) CLOSE



      "To misquote the immortal Terry Pratchett – using more than one
      exclamation mark is the sign of a deranged mind while using more
      than three is a pretty good indication that bystanders should begin
      planning a break for the treeline."

      – sportswriter Evan Fanning quoting Alex Hanton in The Guardian

      ["Immortal"? We like that idea very much! – Ed.]



      Once again, WOSSNAME is coming to you from your Editor's sickbay (I
      know, boring, isn't it). Here be a few odds and sods to start you

      Pratchett Pieces is an email discussion group worth noting. Co-
      created by Michelle Vitard, whose review of the *other* Pratchett
      Pieces (the recent world premiere at Unseen Theatre) is featured in
      Item 10 this month, it lives here:


      Snuff continues to top the Locus bestsellers list in hardcover:


      Open sourcers VideoLAN have just released new media player software
      – called Twoflower!


      Actor Mike Fenton Stevens has been recording the Science of
      Discworld books for audiobook release. Here he is in the recording
      booth, looking pleased with his progress:


      ...and on with the show. This month we have quite a lot of activity
      in the Discworld Plays News section, and another big story is the
      officially leaked synopsis and cover for the forthcoming Pratchett-
      Barnes novel The Long Earth, which a little birdie tells me is truly

      Speaking of little birdies, if you haven't seen the amazing pictures
      of Sir Pterry with starlings and owls at Secret World yet, there are
      links to them (and more!) below. Enjoy!

      – Annie Mac




      As posted on terrypratchett.co.uk:

      The possibilities are endless (just be careful what you wish for...)

      1916: the Western Front, France. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He
      is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind
      in the leaves in the trees. Where has the mud, blood and blasted
      landscape of No man's Land gone?

      2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson has returned to the
      burned-out home of one Willis Linsay, a reclusive and some said mad,
      others dangerous, scientist. It was arson but, as is often the way,
      the firemen seem to have caused more damage than the fire itself.
      Stepping through the wreck of a house, there's no sign of any human
      remains but on the mantelpiece Monica finds a curious gadget - a
      box, containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a...potato. It
      is the prototype of an invention that Linsay called a 'stepper'. An
      invention he put up on the web for all the world to see, and use, an
      invention that would to change the way mankind viewed his world
      Earth for ever. And that's an understatement if ever there was

      ...because the stepper allowed the person using it to step sideways
      into another America, another Earth, and if you kept on stepping,
      you kept on entering even more Earths...this is the Long Earth. It's
      our our Earth but one of chain of parallel worlds, lying side by
      side each differing from its neighbour by really very little (or
      actually quite a lot). It's an infinite chain, offering 'steppers'
      an infinite landscape of infinite possibilities. And the further
      away you travel, the stranger - and sometimes more dangerous - the
      Earths get. The sun and moon always shine, the basic laws of physics
      are the same. However, the chance events which have shaped our
      particular Earth, such as the dinosaur-killer asteroid impact, might
      not have happened and things may well have turned out rather

      But, until Willis Linsay invented his stepper, only our Earth hosted
      mankind...or so we thought. Because it turns out there are some
      people who are natural 'steppers', who don't need his invention and
      now the great migration has begun...




      "The (95% completed) cover artwork for the upcoming novel The Long
      Earth has been revealed! Terry Pratchett and science fiction giant
      Stephen Baxter are combining forces to write this first novel in an
      astonishing, mind-bending new series... The Long Earth will be
      published in the UK on 21st June 2012 and 19th June 2012 in the

      For further details about The Long Earth over the coming months
      leading up to publication, go to:





      Secret World, the wildlife rescue centre often featured in WOSSNAME,
      has launched a new appeal to raise funds for a wildlife teaching
      hospital and to continue and expand their vital work in rescuing and
      preserving injured and orphaned wildlife. The appeal was co-launched
      and endorsed by Sir Pterry. Donations can go towards everything from
      blenders for preparing animal feeds to an X-ray unit for the
      proposed hospital. A selection of articles are below.

      For further information on the appeal, go to:


      From This is Somerset:

      "The fantasy writer, 63, spoke out in an effort to inspire nature-
      lovers to look after endangered creatures such as the hedgehog and
      the sparrow. He passionately backed a campaign to build a new
      £4.4million wildlife teaching hospital – which would include an
      education centre to train young vets... Sir Terry said: 'Orphaned by
      traffic, hurt by our pollution and rubbish and forced out of their
      natural habitats by our developments, Britain's wildlife is in
      serious decline. So much so that even the sparrow and the much-loved
      hedgehog are endangered. Fifty years ago there were 30 million
      hedgehogs in Britain but now there is only an estimated 1.1 million
      – so if we carry on at this rate they could be extinct in ten
      years. Yet when humans decide to act they succeed in reversing the
      trend. I urge everyone to play their part.'... Pauline Kidner,
      Secret World founder, said Britain's wildlife had been hard hit by
      the speed of development in rural areas. She said: 'We will receive
      around 5,000 injured or orphaned animals and birds over the coming
      year, yet when wildlife needs people's support most – the nation
      is increasingly losing touch with nature....'"

      (contains a lovely photo of Pterry with a hedgehog)


      From The Telegraph:

      "Sir Terry said: 'Orphaned by traffic, hurt by our pollution and
      rubbish and forced out of their natural habitats by our
      developments, Britain's wildlife is in serious decline...' Sir Terry
      was joined by television naturalists Mike Dilger, Simon King, Steve
      Backshall, Chris Packam and Michaela Strachan in backing the Call of
      the Wild Appeal to raise money for the hospital."


      From the Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

      "The nationally-renowned rescue centre launched its Call of the Wild
      Appeal with the help of fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett and the
      Weekly News is calling on readers to dig deep and back the cause.
      Launching the fundraising drive on Tuesday, Sir Terry, 63, said:
      'Every so often when you work with wildlife something happens to
      make you feel better about the world. I'm supporting this enterprise
      because I feel we have to get the kids interested in wildlife...'"


      From Somerset's Heart Radio newsround:

      "The West Country is to have a new Wildlife Teaching Hospital and
      Education Centre to save more wildlife and provide practical
      experience for trainee vets from across the UK, and to inspire the
      region's youngsters by giving them direct access to the natural
      world... The hospital is to be developed at the Secret World
      Wildlife Rescue Centre, near Highbridge, where a Call of the Wild
      Appeal to raise £4.4 million to help fund the project and keep the
      centre running over the next two years has been launched... Secret
      World founder Pauline Kidner, said much of Britain's wildlife was in
      decline and the South West had been particularly hard hit because
      while being the largest rural region, it had also been the fastest
      developing over the past 20 years...

      "When completed, the new teaching hospital will include an
      operating theatre, examination, preparation and x-ray rooms with a
      first floor laboratory, lecture theatre and library. It will give
      Secret World the facilities to provide all veterinary care on one
      site, to bring faster relief to suffering wildlife. An IT hook-up
      will allow up to 120 resident students a year to watch procedures
      being performed by the hospital's in-house veterinary surgeon in the
      operating theatre below...

      "As part of its Call of the Wild Appeal, the charity will be
      launching a number of fund raising initiatives over the coming
      months and is asking individuals and companies from all over the
      region to send for an information pack and get involved. For further
      information on the appeal, email save@... or visit
      www.secretworld.org and click on the Call of the Wild link. It costs
      £135 to rescue an animal or bird and £15 to inspire another child
      so all funds raised will help to keep Secret World going...'


      From This is Bristol:

      "The author, who began his career in the city, is backing a £4.4
      million appeal to build a teaching hospital at Secret World Wildlife
      Rescue Centre... Rescued animals include a mute swan that crash-
      landed onto the M32 close to Fishponds having mistaken the road for
      a river and a hedgehog who wandered into a car dealership in Winter-
      stoke Road.."


      From the Weston and Somerset Mercury:

      "Pauline said £2.2million has already been pledged for the hospital
      and the charity is encouraging others to get involved. She said: 'We
      all got to thinking that, after all of our work at the centre, there
      needs to be a future in it otherwise everything we have achieved
      could be lost. We have to make sure Secret World has a secure home.
      We can educate people through the centre and we want to pass on that


      meanwhile, Nottingham's chad.co.uk has a hedgehog focus:

      "Author Sir Terry Pratchett spoke about the issue during the site
      visit for the proposed Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre, in East
      Huntspill, Somerset earlier this week. He estimates that 50 years
      ago there were 30 million hedgehogs in Britain but now there is only
      an estimated 1.1 million. Paul Cook, senior ranger at Sherwood
      Forest National Nature Reserve, which is managed by Nottinghamshire
      County Council, said: 'The life of a hedgehog can be quite fragile.
      Even this time of year – hibernation – is fraught with problems
      – a hedgehog can perish if its body weight is too much or too
      little. Out of hibernation season, I have only seen one hedgehog in
      the forest here in the last few years because there are more
      predatory creatures such as foxes, badgers and birds of prey which
      can target them. However, a garden environment is great for
      hedgehogs – people may want to leave a corner of their garden full
      of decomposing leaves rather than throw the leaves away as that
      provides a perfect habitat for hibernating hedgehogs. They are also
      excellent at pest control as they target slugs and snails – again
      families could consider getting non-toxic pellets for these pests as
      they will not harm hedgehogs and are also kind to household pets..."


      ...and don't forget the badger! In the Weston Mercury:

      "Secret World has received one of its tiniest badger cubs ever, just
      days after author Sir Terry Pratchett launched its £4.4million
      appeal for a wildlife hospital. The cub, named Hope, weighed just
      100g and was found with a grown female badger who was injured and
      sheltering in a garden summerhouse in Crewkerne, near Yeovil. This
      rescue comes shortly after the East Huntspill-based charity launched
      its Call of the Wild Appeal, along with Discworld author Sir Terry,
      to build a new wildlife hospital at the centre. Secret World staff
      discovered the badger pair were not mother and daughter and Hope is
      now being fed by a syringe..."

      (with lovely photos of Hope the badger)


      ...not to mention the dormouse. In The Sun:

      "The adorable creature found himself at a tea party in the cafe in
      Lyme Regis, Dorset, just like the cute critter in Lewis Carroll's
      Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He was scooped up by a visitor and
      taken to the Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre, near Highbridge in
      Somerset, where he promptly went into hibernation. Staff put the
      furry dormouse inside the shell of a coconut. The snoring mouse was
      woken briefly when famous author Sir Terry Pratchett visited the
      centre to launch a £4.4million Call of the Wild Appeal for a new
      animal hospital. Charity founder Pauline Kidner said the animal
      occasionally woke briefly for a catkin snack before nodding off
      again. He will be returned to Lyme, a well-known dormouse habitat,
      in the spring..."




      Good Omens is one of the 25 titles that will be given away on World
      Book Night, 23 April 2012:


      For more information visit the World Book Night website:




      The marvellous, moving, and award-winning documentary Terry
      Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer's is now available on DVD. Amazon
      UK are offering it for £11.99 with free UK delivery, and there are
      many other options. Highly recommended!




      The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort, and
      Sourcery will be re-released in June as "B-format paperbacks".
      Signed copies of all five novels will be available to pre-order from
      PJSM Prints from May.

      To view facsimiles of the five "new" covers, go to:




      Some fascinating suggestions here, although your Editor wishes to
      point out that they left out our own household favourites for
      Aziraphale and Crowley, namely Anthony Stewart Head and James





      A very special offer from Treefrog Games This month and next month!
      Here's Treefrog's Martin Wallace:

      "Treefrog has a special offer for the next two months. From now
      until the end of March all games will be shipped free of charge.
      This also means the collector's and deluxe editions are cheaper to
      buy now.

      Also, Treefrog will have a presence at the Australian Games Expo in
      Sydney this June. Their main featured product will be the Discworld
      game. Treefrog are "looking for folks who might be willing to help
      run the stand in return for free games." Interested? Then do contact

      martin (at) treefroggames.com

      Our recent WOSSNAME exclusive review of Ankh-Morpork by Adam van
      Langenberg is now featured on the gaming site Subterranean Death
      Cult, with extra added iconographs!



      Owing to illness in our home and amongst our friends, the marathon
      session of Guards! Guards! *still* hasn't taken place. Stay tuned.
      In the meantime, you can always go to:





      Act One Cardiff's presentation of Monstrous Regiment continues
      through the 25th of February.

      When: 22nd-25th February 2012
      Venue: The Gate Arts and Community Centre, Keppoch Street, Roath,
      Time: 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2.30pm)
      Tickets: £7 (£5 Concession)
      (£1.50 admin fee online/phone payments)
      Phone and buy from The Gate Box Office on (029) 2048 3344 (card
      payment) Visit Reception @ The Gate, Keppoch St, Roath, Cardiff CF24
      3JW (card or cash)

      And there's a very special meal deal, too:

      "Why not add to your Theatre experience by enjoying a meal before
      you see your show? Come and enjoy our fantastic offer of two meals
      for £9.95 (extra £2.50 supplement, per person, for steak choice)
      at our Mad Hatters Restaurant, within The Gates Arts Theatre. Sit
      down in our relaxing, candle-lit room and enjoy pastas, sharing
      platters, hot salads, soups and much more. Please see our full menu


      "To qualify for this offer, advance bookings are required. Please
      call our booking line on 02920 431294, between 9am-5pm, so that we
      can reserve a table for you."


      ...and here be the updated production blog:



      Ilkley Grammar School students will present their all-singing, all-
      dancing production of The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents
      musical, choreographed by sixth-form student and lifelong dancer
      Maddy Hatfield-Allen. Work on the musical has involved around a
      tenth of the school's population, including more than 100 members of
      the cast and orchestra.

      When: 28th February to 1st March 2012
      Venue: Kings Hall, Ilkley
      Tickets: £7.50 (£5 concessions), available from the Grove
      Bookshop, Ilkley Visitor information Centre and Ilkley Grammar
      School, or phone (01943) 608424.



      The Thalian Theatre Group will perform their production of Maskerade
      in March.

      When: Wednesday 14th March to Saturday 17th March 2012
      Venue: Mirren Studio, Towngate Theatre, Basildon, Essex
      Time: 8pm
      Tickets: £9.50 (£8.50 concessions) for the Wednesday and Thursday
      performances, and £11.50 (£10.50 concessions) for the Friday and
      Saturday. Tickets are available from John on 07788 997497, or email


      The Amateur Players of Sherborne will present their production of
      Wyrd Sisters in late March.

      When: Thursday 29th - Saturday 31st March 2012
      Venue: Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset
      Time: 7.30 pm
      Tickets: £7.50 (Students £4). Tickets will be on sale in March.



      The Sodbury Players, who will be putting on their production of
      Guards! Guards! this May, are desperately seeking a new place to
      craft their props and sets:

      "We need your help! Sodbury Players have just had an incredibly
      successful run of 'Aladdin' at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, selling
      out all 11 performances but future productions are now in jeopardy.

      "Part of the group's success is down to our big bright sets and
      backcloths that transport the audience to that magical location, be
      it a fairytale castle or inside a mystical cave. For nearly 10
      years, we have been fortunate enough to rent some huts in Chipping
      Sodbury from the Town Lands Charity in order to build and paint our
      scenery but due to safety concerns with the building, this is no
      longer possible.

      Sadly large cracks have been found in the roof and the walls are
      bowing. A building surveyor has inspected them and found that it is
      not financially viable to attempt any repairs. Asbestos has also
      been found which adds more complications and health concerns. We
      thank the Town Lands Charity for their support over the last decade
      with allowing us to use these huts but now we're in need of another
      space locally where we can build, paint and store our sets and

      "We're calling out to local people to see if they can help. We're
      looking to rent around 1500-3000 sq ft of space within a few miles
      of Yate/Sodbury. It could be industrial space, old warehousing
      space or maybe even a small plot of land on which we could build our
      own unit.

      "If you can help in any way, please get in touch with Sodbury
      Players as soon as you can by calling Diane on: 0844 3320230."



      Especially for WOSSNAME, a review of the recent Unseen Theatre
      Company production, by Michelle Vitard:

      Professor Sir Terry Pratchett is an author much beloved by fans all
      over the world, especially for his Discworld series. So much so that
      there are not only fan groups and reading groups and internet forums
      but also monthly newsletters, Discworld Conventions and even amateur
      theatre groups dedicated to Pratchett's works. In Adelaide
      Pratchett/Discworld fans gather at the Bakehouse Theatre to
      experience the works of Pratchett through the Unseen Theatre Company
      under the direction of Pamela Munt. 2012 is promising to be a
      splendiferous year for Munt and her inspired ensemble cast judging
      from their first offering of 5 one-act plays entitled Pratchett
      Pieces Three also part of the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival.

      These plays in order of performance are:

      Death And What Comes Next credited as a world premiere, adapted as a
      2 person piece, Death's mask was the stand out performance for me.

      The Trial known as short story The Sea and Little Fishes full cast,
      with as many scenes as to warrant a second act. In fact they did
      such a great job with this story that I'd like to see Munt flesh out
      the story more, as the audience interest supports a full length
      version. Stand out performances by Michelle Wichelo (Nanny Ogg) and
      of course Pamela Munt was "nice" in her recurring role as Granny

      Hollywood Chickens non-Discworld in setting, but the audience was
      familiar with "in-joke" reference to Queen's Greatest Hits cassette
      tapes found strewn on a highway which had them chuckling. The
      chickens were fabulous and stand out performance from Kate Hall as
      "Research Officer".

      Turntables Of The Night non-Discworld in setting but with the oh-so-
      familiar character of Death (Hugh O'Connor) getting his groove on.
      Paul Messenger's (and I quote) "Eighties Shouty Man" voice held the
      story together and drew the audience in beautifully with the aid of
      Pratchett's well-timed gags.

      A Collegiate Casting out Of Devilish Devices all the fellas have got
      their wizard's hats on for this one and just enough time to sort
      through some UU business and Pratchett's favourite digs at
      committees, books for having been written and the metaphorical door
      always being open, before the tea trolley arrives.

      A special mention must go to Samm Blackmore who as Pratchett's
      famous Footnote (asterisk) acted as Narrator, sewing the seams of
      very diverse Acts together with confidence, poise and good humour.

      As for the production, the sound queues and song choices were all
      appropriately amusing and well-timed. The lighting design has most
      definitely improved and so has the seating. The Bakehouse theatre
      stage itself is quite an intimate affair with seating for less than
      100 and a licensed bar where on occasion you might run into C. M. O.
      T. Dibbler during intermission and sample his "gourmet" fare.

      Opening Night Proceeds were donated to Alzheimer's Australia SA in
      recognition of Terry Pratchett's own fundraising for Alzheimer's
      cause and cure research. The company currently has a seasoned cast
      who have now performed together on about four other occasions, give
      or take a cast member, and are comfortable with the space and each
      other. It seems the amateur actors' talent is blossoming under
      Pamela Munt's direction, and it is difficult to pick out an actor to
      praise as they do work so well together that the ensemble becomes
      more than just the sum of its parts.


      According to reviewers, it's a Must Do Better,sadly...

      By Ellen Nicholls at Forge Today:

      "Ending with a comical duel and death scene, Maskerade is a play
      which pokes fun at opera by mimicking its exaggerated characters,
      nonsensical plots and untalented prima donnas. Unfortunately, The
      Company turned Pratchett's play from a light-hearted spoof of
      musical theatre into a garish, amateur pantomime with cringe worthy
      moments of misplaced comedy. What was supposed to be the weaving of
      two subplots in a comic blending of fantasy and reality, became a
      muddled narrative which proved confusing and entirely disengaging...
      The only person worthy of merit was Ken Rowe, who played Nanny Ogg
      with confidence and brilliant comic timing in the face of the
      unnatural and forced ham acting of his peers..."


      An uncredited review in The Star:

      "The Company's latest outing is not one of their finest. The play is
      slow and plodding and the jokes very hit and miss. I enjoyed
      director Emma Portus's production of Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters but
      this time the script isn't up to scratch. The acting however is
      sound and the characters well cast. Most stage time is taken by the
      two witches Granny Weatherwax, played by Sara James and Nanny Ogg
      (Ken Rowe). The latter enjoys some of the better lines... Mr
      Salzella played by Neil Sullivan has a fine line in laconic


      ...but apparently things went better in Wallingford, at the Sinodun
      Players' production in January. Hannah Smithson's review contains a
      lot of iconographs of the production, which really do look rather

      "Directed by Paul Cleverly, this stage adaption was highly
      professional, with an ever changing set, including clever adaptions
      of classic stage props as well as a digital screen backdrop used for
      special effects for when Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax embark on
      their coach journeys. Accompanied by fantastic costumes and a
      slight hint of song from the actual musical the play was a well-
      rounded culmination of humorous satire alongside a more serious
      moral of hiding behind invisible masks... The engaging parody of the
      theatre within the theatre helped create the atmosphere in the wings
      of the Corn Exchange in Wallingford. The chandelier hung, as the
      audience waited for the terrible moment it came down. It remained
      stable till the end of the show, that was perhaps my only
      disappointment. But could it really beat the Chandelier at Her
      Majesty's Theatre. Probably not. But then this was not the Phantom
      of the Opera. This was simply great acting, a fantastically
      delivered storyline in one of Pratchett's fabulous fantasy worlds
      and quite frankly, downright good entertainment!..."



      By Phil Preece on Lichfield Live:

      "With its clever sets, original costumes and make-up (especially the
      punky elves) plus the myriad detailed sound and lighting cues one
      can only guess at the hard work that has gone into it overall. If
      the complex plot's occasionally a little opaque for those of us not
      fully initiated into Mr. Pratchett's Discworld it doesn't really
      matter because there are gags aplenty and droll wordplay that gives
      this show a kind of mystical panto aura. And if the proceedings show
      even the slightest sign of turning dull [director] Mr Titley
      introduces some brisk slapstick business to keep the bus rolling
      merrily along... Gina Martin and Adrienne Swallow as the two
      getting-on-a-bit witches, Gina delightfully dignified as the savant
      who ultimately saves the day and Adrienne vivaciously down-to-earth
      as the bucolic earth-mother who may have magic powers but isn't
      averse to a bit of rumpy-pumpy (well, it's that kind of show –
      think the Archers on acid). The overall effect is enhanced by the
      presence of a lovely band of rustics (dead ringers for Shakespeare's
      comic mechanicals) whose Morris-dancing tour de force got the
      loudest applause of the night. But the mainstay of the show is Sarah
      Stanley as Magrat Garlick the pretty young witch and fiancee of King
      Verence (Ian Davies). Ms. Stanley carries this role which links the
      whole play together seemingly effortlessly, from her naive village-
      girl beginnings to her ultimate assumption of Queenly power that
      brings happy fruitfulness to her new kingdom..."


      10.9 MORE ON MAURICE

      On A.C. Black's website, the TAMAHER: the Musical performance pack
      is available for £26.99 – three pounds lower than recommended
      retail price.


      I have to say that the performance pack is superb, as is the music.
      Possibly the very best of Discworld-related musical theatre so far.
      A full review follows soon! – Ed.


      "For our next Discworld show, and to mark twenty years of staging
      Discworld, we're doing a new staging of Stephen Briggs' published
      adaptation of GUARDS! GUARDS! More news – on dates and tickets –





      The Discworld Emporium now offer a selection of Discworld-themed
      animated e-cards, and very clever they are indeed! There are four
      different themes: Nac mac Feegles (rampaging through fairyland!),
      Igor, the Assassins and Time. Each card can be previewed, and each
      can be personalised before sending. The cards are priced at £1.50
      each. A bit steep, but well worth it!

      For more information, and to send, go to:


      Note: to preview or view the cards, you'll need Flash on your Hex,
      meaning that can't be accessed via an iPad or iPhone.


      There are hats, and there are hats, as every wiz(z)ard knows. But
      never have there been hats like these amazing and affordable
      creations! Just the ticket for a Dwarf who's having a bad beard day,
      or a Roundworld human who wants to go to a Discworld party or
      convention toting the axe of his or her grandfather...


      A few more photos here:




      Reviewed by Cate in The Guardian's young reader book club:

      "'Night Watch', my favourite book so far, combines both the darkness
      and the humor. It's about the city guards or more specifically, Sam
      Vimes, and how the city guards came to be what they are. If you
      haven't read any other books on the city watch, you'll probably be
      okay. If you have, but you've only read 'Guards Guards', or another
      of the earlier ones, you probably will get confused. Just a
      warning... It is, like all Discworld stories, a complicated and
      potentially grim scenario. In places, it is. But for the most part
      it is incredibly funny and entertaining, even in the midst of chaos.
      It's even more brilliant than usual, however, because of the younger
      versions of all our most loved characters. They add comedic value
      and background information. It's surprising and emotional. It paints
      an even more detailed picture of Vimes – who was one of my
      favourite characters already. Not only does it do that, but is also
      pokes fun at every time travelling tale there's ever been. Well,
      that's what it feels like..."





      "The next Discworld event in our calendar will be on the 5th and 6th
      May 2012 in our hometown, Wincanton. This event is cosier and more
      relaxed than our Hogswatch weekends, but is nonetheless bursting
      with active ingredients and Pratchetty goodness to keep the
      Discworld fan energised and enlightened! In a tenuous tribute to
      this year's forthcoming Roundworld events, the Spring Fling shall
      curtsey to the Queen's Jubilee and, er, squat thrust to the Olympics
      with a Mr Shine Him Diamond/Gods theme. May trolls and deities


      13.2 DWCON 2012 NEWS

      DWCon 2012 is now sold out. For those of you lucky enough to be
      going, or just curious about what merchandise is available for
      conventiongoers, the online shop is now open. Don't you just love a
      little shop?


      There are now three editions of DWCon's News of the Disc available
      for download:


      13.3 SADWCON NEWS

      This year's inaugural South African Discworld Convention will be on
      a little later than the advertised time. Given the high quality of
      the SADWCON Event, it will be worth waiting for though! Their

      The Turtle Moves ...

      Forever onwards, towards the final destination, but there are may
      interesting sights to be seen on the way. And one of those sights is
      approaching; if you look to your left you might catch a glimpse of
      it in the distance. Table Mountain, Cape Town.

      But it seems that now the turtle will be taking the scenic route. We
      have run into some difficulties, the one at the top of the list
      being the delay in the processing of our charity status. This
      boulder in our progress has caused an avalanche of other issues, and
      has resulted in us being unable to move ahead with our plans at the
      speed with which we had hoped to be able to move. So we had two
      choices – either have a mediocre convention this year, or to have an
      amazing convention at a later date. We have decided to go with the
      latter choice – that of an incredible convention at a later date ...

      So now we're going the scenic route – the long way around, but more
      enjoyable. We have the scenery to look forward to, as well as
      smaller events and days of fun. So keep your eyes open for
      interesting spectacles and gatherings that will be announced. But do
      we get to see the elephants?

      Take part in the fun, be part of the planning – SADWCON 2014

      Goddes and Men Saide It Was Notte To Bee, But They
      Would Notte Listen!
      Thys wille shok you!
      With a 1,000 elephants!




      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 March 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 5th March 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 5th March 2012 at The Vic
      Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco. For more information contact:

      Daniel Hatton at daniel_j_hatton@...



      A shopping mall in Bulgaria is perhaps not the first place one would
      think to find a Discworld-themed restaurant, but guess what? That's
      exactly what and where "A'Tuin" is! And the descriptive text on the
      mall's website is charming, in its English translation:

      "Our idea is to embark together on a interesting and colourful
      adventure, all aboard on the back of the giant turtle A'Tuin from
      Terry Pratchet's Discworld books and steer away from the hasty and
      stressful city. If you grant us faith, we will do everything in our
      power to respond to all your needs with special offers, loyal
      customer programmes and pampers for the most exclusive of tastes..."




      What birds? On PJSM Prints, a scan of a newspaper photo of Pterry at
      Secret World, sporting some unusual headwear:


      ...and with less avian headwear but accessorising with a lovely owl:


      ...and undecorated, but looking serious, at the launch of Secret
      World's Call of the Wild appeal:


      ...and a very lovely photo:

      (read the comments!)

      Fan artist SM9T8, whose name is probably Charles Smith, has created
      a charming map of the Sto Plains and other familiar pieces of the



      ...and last, the A'Tuin restaurant logo in English:




      ...and, no doubt, other Fourecksian libraries:

      "Most of his books are set in a fantasy world known as the
      Discworld: a flat disc of land supported on the backs of four giant
      elephants who, in turn, ride through space on the back of the giant
      turtle, A'Tuin. However, this fantastical scenario belies the true
      nature of Pratchett's work which is concerned with real life issues
      both historical and contemporary. Over Pratchett's large body of
      work within the Discworld he has addressed such issues as: the role
      and responsibility of media in society, the difference between
      politics and governance, the authority and power of officers versus
      soldiers during wartime and mob mentality. However, that makes his
      work sound serious. Ultimately Pratchett crafts colourful, funny,
      easy to read stories that simultaneously explore more serious issues
      for those who care to listen. I happily recommend Terry Pratchett
      to teenagers and adults alike..."




      On Reading to Our Kids, blogger Glenn reviews Wintersmith:

      "These Tiffany books are aimed at a child/teenage audience (I think
      they're classified as 'Young Adult Fiction'), so it has less
      violence and innuendo than in some of the other Discworld novels.
      It does mention the Feegles and their 'fightin' an boozin'' where
      they get 'pished' (I had to explain those last two). Also, there are
      some interesting themes introduced in this book. Essentially the
      Wintersmith, i.e. the anthropomorphic personification of Winter,
      falls in love with Tiffany. This is the first time in the Tiffany
      books that romantic love is really talked about openly. It was
      hinted at in Hat Full of Sky, but never really gone into. In this
      one Tiffany has to deal with not only the Wintersmith's feelings for
      her, but also her own confusion around how she feels about that,
      plus her definitely-not-boyfriend-just-a-boy-who-she-writes-to
      Roland... I've read all the Tiffany books previously (actually
      there's only a couple of the Discworld books I haven't read) so I
      get a lot of pleasure anticipating my kids' reactions to the
      sections that are coming up. The book picks up the pace after this,
      with Annagramma's troubles, the snow and then confronting the
      Wintersmith. I'm really interested to see what Alanah makes of this


      "I think it's safe to say that Alanah's favourite part of the last
      part is when Rob Anybody confronts his 'heroic' task of reading a
      book... It took a second reading for her to recognise it, but then a
      huge grin appeared on her face as she realised where it was from.
      It's from the book Where's My Cow, the children's book Pratchett
      created for Samuel Vimes to read to his son in Thud. My kids got me
      Where's My Cow for me for father's day a few years ago, they were
      thrilled to be able to buy me a book that actually looked
      interesting for a change, instead of those boring books with only
      words in that Mummy buys for me! Sarah now assures me she's spent
      the rest of the day yelling 'Where's ma coo!!!'


      Blogger and would-be novelist James T Kelly contemplates the
      Pratchett Prize:

      "There's a lot of guff in there about alternate Earths (I think
      that's thrown in there to confuse people!) but it all seems to
      boil down to this: the story 'must be theoretically possible on
      some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth.'
      This is the muddiest part of the competition. After all, aren't
      Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars all theoretically
      possible? The winners of last year's competition are described as
      'A dazzling, tragi-comic tale of childhood wonder, time-travelling
      poets and theoretical physics' and 'a comedic tale of zombie
      animals overrunning the UK'. This one's a judgement call, I'm
      afraid. Your guess is as good as mine..."


      Blogger Readingmater (note spelling!) has a few words to say about

      "Then I picked up a Young Adult book to re-read- Terry Pratchett's
      'Nation' and it is full, full, of ideas to think about:
      theodicy, cultural pressure (the voices of the Grandfathers' or
      'grandmother' in the heroes' heads,) the coming of age and
      rites of passage of a boy and a girl, ethics,cosmology. Mau's
      Nation is destroyed by a tsunami while he is on the boys' island,
      alone, preparing to become a man, and Ermintrude/Daphne is the sole
      survivor of a shipwreck. Mau argues against the gods who could do
      this, fights the voices in his head, becomes the leader of the
      ragtag survivors, while Daphne both becomes a woman and leader, and
      resists the cultural pressures of the sort-of-victorian world she
      comes from. Thrown in are ideas about parallel universes, cultural
      jingoism and so on. This is a different way of thinking about the
      links between events and the reasons why things are as they are. He
      also, of course, refuses easy answers. All this together with
      Pratchett's joyful manipulation of language..."


      Roleplayer Geoffrey was disappointed in Discworld GURPS, but thinks
      Discworld itself would be a rich setting for RPG:

      "The first few novels are pretty much 100% D&D fare. With thieves'
      and assassins' guilds in the faux-medieval metropolis of Ankh-
      Morpork, with weird forgotten temples, druids and barbarians,
      dwarves and trolls, wizards and witches, and just a pinch of
      Lovecraft lurking in the background. The whole of Discworld is a
      wonderful pastiche/satire on the typical early D&D/fantasy novel
      setting of the time. I maintain that it should be easy to actually
      do some roleplaying there, and that the problem with GURPS Discworld
      was that it was overthinking it. What was the inspiration for
      Discworld in the first place? Pretty much D&D, wasn't it? Terry
      was a D&D player, he played the game, read the White Dwarf, created
      his own worlds along this game. It wasn't GURPS guys in his age
      group were playing in early 80s Britain (because GURPS did not exist
      yet), it was beautiful, make-up-your-own-and-mix-with-whatever-you-
      got D&D..."


      A short, sweet review of Small Gods by blogger whimsicalmeerkat:

      "I don't even know how to express just how much I loved Small Gods.
      I really, really, really enjoyed reading this. Sure, that may have
      been because my boyfriend's great love of turtles has rubbed off on
      me. It may have been a devious glee at the thought of a petulant
      little god who never considered that he should do anything for his
      believers. The great library and the hilarious stereotype of the
      philosophers in Ephebe certainly didn't hurt. Nor did the penguin.
      Or the history monk. Vorbis was creepy as hell, which added a slight
      touch of reality. Seriously, go read this. Now. Go!"


      ...and another short sweet review, this one of ISWM by blogger

      "...the young Miss Aching appeals no end; she is moral, caring, a
      thinker and understands that while she has a place in the world, it
      is often complicated by difficult or potentially unpopular
      decisions. Though Pratchett originally wrote this subset of the
      Discworld novels for a younger audience, there's absolutely no
      reason they ought not be on the reading list of any Discworld fan.
      Nay, any fantasy fan. With the Tiffany Aching books, Pratchett has
      moved beyond the (very excellent, mind you) silliness and satire
      present in many of his earlier pieces to a more profound, gentle
      humor laced with more than a condiment level of humanity..."


      Blogger Tom Russell, reviewing tCoM, came late to the party and is,
      perhaps incurably, at least six drinks behind:

      "I must say, I was a bit disappointed. It was clever in parts, but I
      never really laughed. The exploits of Twoflower and Rincewind
      plodded along with no real aim or purpose, other than Twoflower's
      zeal to explore the world. They escape one threat after another by
      mere chance and dumb luck. But, considering the wager by Fate and
      The Lady, I guess that's somewhat the point. In any case, I found
      myself reading the whole thing just to get through with it. Unless
      someone tells me the series gets better I will probably not bother
      to read the next one..."


      Blogger Librarianaut loves The Wee Free Men, but has a quibble with
      its title:

      "The Wee Free Men isn't the best title for Terry Pratchett's
      excellent book about a girl, Tiffany Aching, who becomes a witch-
      hero. Like The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents this is an
      excellent younger readers-focused book set in the Discworld but kind
      of off to the side somewhere. It has less to do with storybook
      tropes, and more with analysis of what a witch actually does.
      Basically Tiffany Aching is a ten-year-old badass through her
      careful paying of attention to things and when her little brother
      (who she doesn't really like) is kidnapped by otherworldly creatures
      she goes off to save him because who can wait for the 'real witches'
      to show up? She's got help from a toad (a bit) and the titular Wee
      Free Men, who are pictsies that fight and steal and cuss. They're
      kind of awesome and stuff, but it bugs me that the book is named
      after the assistants, rather than the hero..."


      Blogger Miranda is suffering from Pratchett overdose...or not. It's
      a familiar dilemma for many:

      "I can't decide whether to read more Terry Pratchett now or to give
      myself a break. I don't want to burn out, and there is just so much
      good stuff to read. But then I think over what I might read instead
      and all my brain does is go, 'But it's not Pratchett!' and then I
      read Pratchett and my brain goes 'So...much...Pratchett...erglp.'
      And then I think over what I might read instead and my brain goes,
      'But it's not Pratchett!'..."


      Blogger awritershailmarypass offers an essay-length piece on themes
      and characters in the Discworld series:

      "Terry Pratchett has written more than Discworld novels, but I think
      those are his most famous set of novels. I think that these are some
      of the best books I've ever read, although as I may have mentioned
      before not always truly fantasy. If you are not familiar with
      Pratchett, you should be.... I think Pratchett has gotten better
      throughout the series, although the author is now suffering from
      Alzheimer's. It's really a great shame. He does a great job with
      characters that while they have very pronounced personalities and
      quirks are still believeable. Sometimes he integrates a lot of the
      magic of the world in his stories (see Sourcery), and sometimes he
      deals with more modern themes (such as racism) using the fantasy
      setting (see Thud!). Overall, an awesome series of books..."


      Here's a fascinating blog entry from Halley239. It's a lengthy post
      about football (soccer to those of you not in the Commonwealth), in
      which she credits Unseen Academicals with showing her the love of
      the game:

      "And then somebody scored a goal. I understood it was 'our' team
      when my husband jumped up and yelled 'GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!' from
      the top of his lungs. His face had lit up and he was grinning so
      wide I could see each and every one of his 32 bright white teeth. I
      stood up, hesitating and did the wave with the rest of the 100,000
      spectators. That's when it happened. Terry Pratchett describes it so
      much better in his book, Unseen Academicals – the unity, the
      sudden rush, thousands of people screaming with joy or
      disappointment, depending on their affiliation. I felt it. I went
      through me like...a wave...if you excuse my unimaginative wording.

      "I began to pay more attention to what my husband said about the
      game and to cheer more at the goals (it was a game of many goals)
      and after we got home, I made a decision. I became a fixture to the
      Saturday or Sunday afternoons, sneaking into the downstairs living-
      room and taking my spot in the darkest corner to watch our team


      Blogger Christina Rosendahl weighs in this month with her review of
      Unseen Academicals:

      "Pratchett gives his own version of Romeo and Juliet in this book.
      Of course, Pratchett's Romeo and Juliet have far bigger problems
      than just their families being against them – their issue is they
      support different football teams...! Oh, and when Pratchett in the
      end gets to the big game – it's amazing!

      "What I love about Discworld is that after so many books, it has
      become such a well-carved out universe that while each book is
      readable on its own, you really get a lot out of having read at
      least some of the others. Pratchett has main characters from other
      books in the series show up for brief appearances. We get a brief
      visit from Death, we speak to Vines from the Watch, Moist von Lipwig
      covers the football match and of course there's a brief appearance
      by Rincewind and the Luggage. This makes the world real because
      these are the people who would show up in those circumstances. But
      what I love even more than to get the feeling that this is actually
      a real world, is the humor which is present on every page in the


      Blogger Ian, a self-confessed Pratchett acolyte, reviews Snuff:

      "Again, race is one of the big recurring themes in Pratchett's
      books: people are people. Even when they're really small, and smell
      a bit curious, and have a weird language. You'd think the message
      would get old, but it's still one of those things that it never
      hurts to hammer home: all people, are people... Pratchett also
      throws in the reflections on the nature of law-enforcing, a few
      thoughts on authority and nobility, some smuggling, thoughts on how
      a parent mourns for a child lost, the common tropes of English
      pastoral novels, and even the works of Jane Austen, or at least her
      Disc counterpart, who enjoys a thoroughly curious luncheon with
      Mister Vimes.

      "Overall in terms of Discworld books, Snuff might not top anyone's
      lists. Parts of the plot are similar to stuff that's already come up
      in other books, only given a lick of paint and a new name. The
      villain, by name of Stratford, is a decent enough murderous bastard,
      but doesn't quite stick into your mind, like a knife in cold jelly,
      the way, say, Nightwatch's Carcer or Hogfather's Teatime do. One
      part, however, that I really liked were the segments Sam spent with
      his family, actually enjoying himself. His son runs around and is
      generally excited at everything while Sam keeps a watchful, and
      proud, eye, and Vimes and his wife are always cute together, in the
      way they have a gentle almost-but-not-quite-a-tiff and then
      immediately return to happily married. Even the scenes with Vimes
      taking charge of a boat and discovering a fondness for sailing, at
      least not when it's in the middle of a raging maelstrom (that in and
      of itself a cool moment that deserves reading), are very sweet. For
      a man who wades through so much shit as a policeman, it's genuinely
      nice to read Sam Vimes getting some sunshine and having fun, in the
      spaces between the plot about murder and slavery...."



      19) CLOSE

      And there you have it. Too late to be an early edition, but early
      enough to remind you about some time-related things. That's all from
      us for the moment. See you at the back end of the month with our
      regular Discworld horoscope and any late-breaking news!

      – Annie Mac

      p.s. Mmm, pancakes. Don't forget Tuesday next!


      The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
      Copyright (c) 2012 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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