WOSSNAME -- Main issue -- March 2012
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
March 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 3, 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
01) QUOTE OF THE MONTH
02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
03) FORTHCOMING PRATCHETT BOOKS NEWS!!! WITH MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION
04) REMINDER: WORLD BOOK DAY AND NIGHT
05) SECRET WORLD "CALL OF THE WILD" APPEAL UPDATES
06) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
07) MUSICAL MORT (NOT MORT THE MUSICAL!)
08) DISCWORLD BOOK REVIEWS
09) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
10) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
11) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
12) DEATH VERSUS...DEATH?!
13) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
14) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
15) ACTION REPLAY
16) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
17) PRATCHETT PRIZE WINNER'S NOVEL ALMOST READY TO ROLL
18) DISCWORLD AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
"Terry Pratchett has donated to The Alzheimer's Society to encourage
research. If this leads to another Discworld novel, there will be
millions of happy readers including me. It will be wonderful if he
himself can continue his creative work and also share some of the
happiness that he gives to so many other people."
Dr Robert Lefever
"Thend him to athk for a thecond therving of thauthageth and thqueak
pluth a thmall thide thalad."
the inestimable Pat Harkin to Pterry, on hearing that Rob
Wilkins had just been Igorishly numbed up for some dentistry, 6th
"I think it more true that getting older changes how you see the
world. There is stuff in Snuff, for example, that I couldn't have
written at twenty-five. Although I had written things before
Discworld, I really leaned writing, on the job as it were, on
Discworld. I think that the books are, if not serious, dealing with
more serious subjects. These days it's not just for laughs. My world
view had changed; sometimes I feel that the world is made up of
sensible people who know that plot and bloody idiots who don't. Of
course, all Discworld fans know the plot by heart!"
Pterry, interviewed by Neil Gaiman for BoingBoing, 10th October
02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR
As you read this, Sir Terry and Rob are on their way to Borneo (The
Author delightedly clutching his new "essential jungle equipment",
a Canon 5D Mark III camera). But theirs is a sad journey this time.
Back in 1995, Terry Pratchett visited Borneo with the Orangutan
Foundation and made the much-admired telly programme "Jungle Quest".
But since then, commercial interests wanting to clear land there for
palm oil plantations have prompted the destruction of vast tracts of
the orangutans' natural habitat, and the destruction of the apes
For a heartbreaking look at Green the orangutan and her final days,
The page includes many (upsetting) photos, and also video.
Additionally, the link to the documentary film itself:
If you can look at these without being gutted, you've a stronger
stomach than I do.
Please, O readers I know it's well-nigh impossible to find
*every* product that uses palm oil, but often this ingredient is
plainly displayed on the ingredients list of a product's packaging.
If you see palm oil listed, please don't buy.
In lighter news, according to Locus Magazine, Snuff is *still* their
number one bestseller for the third month in a row:
...and we've received a rather interesting email from reader Gary
Nedzweck. Here is the text of it, in all its idiosyncratic glory:
"Dear Friend in DiscWorld,
"Wouldn't it be great if CMOT Dibbler finally got it together,
perhaps overturning the local gangstas and forging (pune not
intended!) an empire, after grasping life by the... whozenames?
Dibbler's rehabilitation into a tower of moral strength and virtue,
born of his eternal, indefatigable perserverance and optomism in the
face of the inevitable collapse of every one of his schemes: now
that would bring tears to his ol' mum! Eh?"
There's a lot of book news this month, and many other items of
interest. On with the show!
03) FORTHCOMING PRATCHETT BOOKS NEWS!!! WITH MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION
The big blurb:
In an alternative London, ruled by the young Queen Victoria, an
enterprising lad can find adventure and opportunity if he is
very smart, and very, very lucky. Dodger has the brains, the luck
and the cheek to scrape by on his own.
Everyone knows Dodger, and everyone likes Dodger. Which is a good
thing, because life for a boy on the streets is anything but easy.
And it's about to get seriously complicated as a simple haircut
turns momentous when Dodger unknowingly puts a stop to the murderous
barber Sweeney Todd.
From Dodger's encounters with fictional villains to his meetings
with Darwin, Disraeli, and Dickens, history and fantasy intertwine
in a breathtaking tale of adventure and mystery, unexpected coming-
of-age, and one remarkable boy's rise in a complex and fascinating
Beloved and bestselling author Terry Pratchett writes at the height
of his powers, combining high comedy with deep wisdom, to the
delight of fans old and new.
...and the small blurb:
A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy
lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage, in a
vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her
be caught again? Of course not, because he's . . . Dodger!
Dodger Published September 13th 2012.
Signed copies available to pre-order from August.
3.2 THE LONG EARTH: CHARACTERS REVEAL!
"Here is the first character revealed from The Long Earth...
"Joshua Valiente: Joshua was an orphan born in another world, he
would rather lose himself in a forest than in the crowds of our
Earth, and can't wait to get away from it again.
"The second character to step forward into the light and onto the
pages of The Long Earth is Lobsang: A Tibetan mechanic
reincarnated as a highly intelligent machine, with a high opinion of
himself to match.
"And finally the last Long Earthian to step from the page is Monica
Jansson: A Madison police officer with more imagination than most,
who is first on the scene when children start disappearing all over
Signed copies of The Long Earth will be available to pre-order from
21st April from PJSM Prints:
3.3 THE WORLD OF POO!
Yes, it exists! For those of you who want a complete collection (I
shall always be glad we bought Where's My Cow? back when it came
out), Miss Felicity Beedle's entertaining and educational book is
not to be missed:
"The World of Poo
Published June 7th 2012.
Signed copies available
to pre-order from May."
3.4 TSoD4: IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN!
All three Science of Discworld co-authors (that's Ian Stewart, Jack
Cohen, and of course, Pterry) have been meeting recently to discuss
The Science of Discworld 4. Although given the venue, perhaps
they're just meeting for more... liquid reasons? Here be an
iconograph of Pterry, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen thinking deep
04) WORLD BOOK DAY AND NIGHT: DON'T FORGET!
World Book Day/Night 2012 takes place on the 23rd of April. Do get
Here be some of Pterry's own recommendations:
"London Labour and the London Poor Henry Mayhew (without which
no library is complete)
"Feeding Nelson's Navy: The True Story of Food at Sea in the
Georgian Era (ISBN 978-1861762887) Janet MacDonald
"And anything outside of your genre. We're on our third Sophie
Kinsella in a row. Beautifully written and very, very funny."
from Pterry's Twitter page:
From Pterry's official Facebook page, as originally posted in
"World Book Night represents the most ambitious and far-reaching
celebration of adult books and reading ever attempted in the UK and
Ireland. World Book Night 2012 will be held on the 23rd April and
they're once more looking for 20,000 volunteer givers. This year,
givers will be distributing 24 copies each (480,000 books) with the
further books distributed directly to prisons and libraries through
charitable partners... Reading changes lives and at the heart of
World Book Night lies the simplest of ideas and acts that of
putting a book into another person's hand and saying 'this one's
amazing, you have to read it'."
About Book Night in the USA:
"What is World Book Night? World Book Night is an annual celebration
designed to spread a love of reading and books. To be held in the
U.S. as well as the U.K. and Ireland on April 23, 2012. It will see
tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread
the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night
paperbacks. World Book Night, through social media and traditional
publicity, will also promote the value of reading, of printed books,
and of bookstores and libraries to everyone year-round.
"Successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night will
also be celebrated in the U.S. in 2012, with news of more countries
to come in future years. Please join our mailing list for regular
World Book Night U.S. news. And thank you to our U.K. friends for
such a wonderful idea! Additionally, April 23 is UNESCO's World Book
Day, chosen due to the anniversary of Cervantes' death, as well as
Shakespeare's birth and death."
To see a full list of the chosen 2012 titles:
05) SECRET WORLD "CALL OF THE WILD" APPEAL UPDATES
From the Bristol Evening Post:
"A campaign for a new multi-million pound animal hospital took a
major step forward after a store manager in Bradley Stoke donated
£25,000. Plans to build the £4.4million wildlife teaching hospital
which would include an education centre to train young vets
was launched by fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett at Secret World
Wildlife Rescue Centre in East Huntspill, Somerset the site of
the proposed hospital.
Secret World founder Pauline Kidner recently received a £25,000
donation from Russell Hardyman-Richards, store manager of Pets at
Home in Bradley Stoke. 'This wonderful grant takes us one step
closer to raising the last £300,000 needed before we can start the
hospital phase of the project,' she said..."
Remember, Secret World's "Call of the Wild" appeal is ongoing. For
a refresher on the information, and donation links, go to:
06) PTERRY AND ALZHEIMER'S NEWS
6.1 "CHOOSING TO DIE" WINS RTS AWARD
Choosing to Die just picked up the Royal Television Society award
for best documentary. Very proud of the whole team. Thank you.
Pterry, from his Twitter, 21st March 2012
Reported by the Press Association:
"The winner of Best Single Documentary went to the controversial
Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die."
6.2 REGION-FREE "LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER'S" SIGNED DVDs AVAILABLE
"This programme follows Terry coming to terms with his diagnosis,
living with his condition, facing the certainty of its conclusion
and his mission to find a cure. Adamant that he has done nothing
wrong and that Alzheimer's sufferers should not be stigmatised, this
is a genuine personal journey of one man, through the science and
the reality of what it s like to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's
Region: 0 (Worldwide)
Running Time: 120 Minutes
6.3 ACTIVISM AND ARTICLES
From This is Bath:
"The best-selling fantasy author, who lives in Wiltshire, said
patients were seen as a nuisance and penalised because ministers see
the illness merely as a social care problem. And Sir Terry, who was
diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007, said it was unfair that families
were 'bankrupting' themselves paying for dementia care when
treatment for other conditions is free on the NHS. Those with assets
worth more than £23,500, including their house, have to pay for
dementia care which can cost £100,000 a year. Sir Terry, 63,
told the Alzheimer's Disease International conference in London that
labelling dementia as a social care issue 'takes the humanity out of
people with the disease'. 'Alzheimer's patients are discriminated
against by being seen as needing social care,' he claimed. 'What
they've got is a problem rather than a disease.'..."
Reported in the Daily Mail:
"And Sir Terry, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007, said it
was unfair that families were 'bankrupting' themselves paying for
dementia care when treatment for other conditions is free on the
NHS... Sir Terry, 63, told a conference in London: 'I don't think
the Government cares about care very much. People with Alzheimer's
are penalised. The families of people requiring care could quite
possibly bankrupt themselves with the cost.'... But he argued that
as all patients pay for the NHS through their taxes they should all
be treated the same. 'We want Alzheimer's to be treated fairly, not
pushed on one side,' he said. 'If we all put into the NHS surely we
should be treated alike. It's as simple as that. If it's not a
disease, presumably people are malingerers in some way. They are
just hanging about requiring social care. It's just old people
wanting food and drink. But it is a disease that is doing this to
them, that can be seen on scans and you can see how the brain is
deteriorating. It's not something we dream up.'..."
Two more articles from the Daily Mail:
"Hundreds of thousands more dementia patients could be helped by two
drugs that temporarily halt its symptoms, according to researchers.
In a trial, the treatments, which cost as little as 50p a day, gave
sufferers in the later stages of the disease precious extra months
to live independently and hold coherent conversations.
At present the two drugs donepezil, more commonly known as
Aricept, and memantine, or Ebixa are given to only about 50,000
patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Once the illness has
progressed beyond a certain point, prescriptions are usually stopped
because the drugs are not thought to have any further benefit. But
based on the findings of a ground-breaking study carried out at
King's College London, experts believe they could help 450,000
advanced sufferers in the UK. They also say the drugs could replace
harmful anti-psychotic medication routinely used to sedate patients,
which worsen symptoms and heighten the risk of strokes and death..."
"Alzheimer's symptoms such as memory loss could be prevented by
targeting a chemical that dismantles brain connections, research
suggests. Scientists have already started work searching for a drug
that will block the mechanism, discovered in mice. If successful, a
treatment that effectively protects against the effects of
Alzheimer's could be available in the next 10 years... study leader
Dr Patricia Salinas said now that Dkk1's role was known, there was a
chance of developing drugs to target it. 'These novel findings raise
the possibility that targeting this secreted Dkk1 protein could
offer an effective treatment to protect synapses against the toxic
effect of amyloid-beta,' she said. 'Importantly, these results raise
the hope for a treatment and perhaps the prevention of cognitive
decline early in Alzheimer's disease.' Her team is now working with
a biotech company to develop molecules that can block Dkk1..."
...and a doctor (and Pratchett fan) weighs in:
"As a working doctor I was very familiar with the problem of
dementia. All doctors are. I was also well aware of the devastation
it caused in families. My aunt developed Alzheimer's disease. On one
occasion she shut my uncle out of their house, saying through the
letter box that she hadn't got a husband. It was tragic for him and
tragic for her, even though she may have been less aware of it. Any
advance in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease therefore has
benefits for family members, and other carers, as well as for the
primary sufferers. Even a short extension to an independent and
mentally competent life can lift heavy clouds and painful burdens.
"The drugs Donepezil (Aricept) and Exbixa (Memantine) have been in
the pharmacopoeia for some years. Currently they are prescribed to
about 50,000 patients in the early stages of their mental decline.
Another 400,000 sufferers, in the later stages of degeneration, have
not been given these drugs because it was thought that the medicines
lose their effectiveness after a time. This belief has now been
shown to be false. A clinical trial at Kings College Hospital has
shown that mental state, and also the ability to perform simple
tasks, are preserved, for longer than previously thought, when the
prescriptions are continued. These medications can also lead to the
discontinuation of anti-psychotic drugs used for sedation in these
patients. Some patients were found to benefit for a whole year
longer than previously anticipated. That is a huge improvement in
quality of life for these patients and for their carers..."
07) MUSICAL MORT (NOT MORT THE MUSICAL!)
WOSSNAME reader Juliet Drennan writes to recommend a Discworld-
themed music player app with a familiar name:
"Did you know that there's a audiobook player named for Mort? It's a
very good player too."
And so it is, according to several of Your Editor's friends and
"Simple to use music player for all those who prefer folder
structure over tags. (You want your mix folder, not separated by
The website of Mort developer Mirko Schenk (coder and Pratchett fan)
08) DISCWORLD BOOK REVIEWS
8.1 REVIEW: SMALL GODS
Olivia Houseman, a staff writer for The Clipper, Everett Community
College (Washington state, USA) student newspaper ("Since 1943"),
reviews Small Gods:
"Normally, I say away from series for reviewing purposes. I was
pleasantly surprised to find that this novel was brilliant as a
stand-alone story... I found this novel to be intellectually
stimulating, as well as absolutely hilarious (a tortoise screaming
curses? Come on!). The novel's themes organized religion,
politics and philosophy are in-your-face and thought provoking.
Pratchett reveals, with well-organized ease, the hypocritical
undercurrents that seem to flood politics, the ridiculous and needed
ways of the philosopher and the necessity of skepticism..."
8.2 REVIEW: MORT
By "frustratedartist" in The Guardian books section:
"A skilled writer can seduce his readers into suspending their
disbelief. Pratchett does this- within a few pages his world becomes
real, in all its startling beauty and baroque complexity. It is both
gloriously alien, and uncannily like the world we live in both
strange and familiar. His unforgettable characters often reappear
from one novel to the next, and to meet them again is like meeting
up with old friends... These two story arcs, the experiences of
Death as he attempts to live as a human, and the experiences of the
world as it attempts to cope without a functioning life-removal
system, form the twin backbones of the novel. They spiral around
each other like strands of DNA, intimately connected, but meeting
only at the end of the novel. And it is a lovely novel, outrageously
funny and hauntingly lyrical..."
8.3 REVIEW: NATION
In The Guardian's children's books section, ThePinkElephant reviews
"The characters are quite brilliantly odd. You warm towards them
instantly, and you want to see where they end up. Daphne, Mau, Milo
and Pilu had me clenching my fists in places, welling up in others,
and mainly rolling around in fits of laughter. Nevertheless, this
novel has a far more in-depth plotline of discovery, finding roots,
religion, and of course, of rebuilding a nation..."
09) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
9.1 "ANKH-MORPORK": THE TOURNAMENT!
The people organizing next years Nullus Anxietas IV are running at
Ankh-Morpork Tournament on the 31st March. The game is made by Tree
Frog Games and is very popular and very good. So if you happen to
live in the land of Fourecks (Australia) and fancy entering the
tournament then be sure to let the team know by liking their
Facebook page. Here are the official details:
On 31st March, 2012: Rule the City! Come and play Ankh-Morpork in
what is hopefully the first of many Ankh-Morpork tournaments.
* Venue: Realm of Legends (190/198 Mt. Dandenong Rd, Croydon, Vic)
* Time: 11-4
* Cost: Gold-Coin Donation
* Date: 31/03/2012
If you are planning on attending or better yet entering the
tournament, we would love to hear from you. We would love to heard a
report on the tournament, photos etc. This is something that should
be considered here in the UK as well. I expect the tournament will
prove a huge hit.
9.2 REVIEWS OF "GUARDS! GUARDS!"
Two exclusive reviews, as promised!
Guards! Guards!: The Board Game A Review.
by Your Humble Correspondent Mogg
The arrival of Guards! Guards!: The Board Game provoked quite a bit
of excitement amongst our reviewing team, a group which largely
enjoyed Ankh-Morpork: The Board Game, or at the very least enjoyed
the spectacle of DisBo and the Dean attempting to wipe each other
off the board. Plans, or PLNs, to get together to play the game were
made, cancelled, re-arranged, settled, upset, and mangled until
finally a day arrived where all four members of the team were able
to be in one place for a couple of hours. YES!
Er, no. It turns out that Guards! Guards! is, in the words of the
Nac Mac Feegle, "verra comp-lick-ated". Oh waily waily!
The basic object of the game is for each player to collect the seven
plus one Great Spells and return them to Unseen University. Each
player is a member of a Guild that gives them a home section of the
board and different basic skills, and can acquire extra guild skill,
charm or magic as the game progresses. Each player recruits
characters, taken from the entire Discworld series, who have
different characteristics such as street wisdom, toughness, loyalty
and magic power, in order to help their mission. Players can bribe
or charm recruits, set them up to sabotage other players' attempts
to return a spell, or use them in fights if they bump into each
other on the board. Some recruits are also secret members of the
Elucidated Order of the Ebon Night who may at times, depending on
Fate, gather to summon a dragon to wreak havoc on a section of the
board. Fate cards can also decree other actions, some of which can
be positive and many of which are negative. Players can be infected
with Pox, which handicaps them until they visit a hospital to be
cured, and those with Pox can infect other players. Useful items
and spells can be obtained by purchase or visiting a temple. To top
it all off, the Luggage wanders around the board stomping on players
who get in its way.
Phew, that's quite a lot! DisBo, our official Reader of Rules, had
to spend 15 minutes working out enough of the basics to start the
game. Then a try-it-out round ensued, which involved about an hour
of the basics of gameplay without any of the complicating factors
like dragons or sabotages. It took that long for our reviewing team
to get the hang of things and decide that, in fact, the game was
quite enjoyable, it just needed something like six hours to play. A
second, longer session was proposed, agreed upon, and promptly Dis-
Several weeks later...
Attempt the Second was convened and more time allowed for playing,
but once again we were defeated. We did get through enough game play
in a couple of hours to work out how all of the different features
work, but still only played about a quarter of the game enough
time for DisBo and the Dean to resume their warfare, and for us all
to comment on the artwork depicting many Discworld characters (and
correct DisBo's pronunciation of some of the names, Pterry neophyte
that he is). In order to be as thorough as possible, official Owner
of the Game "Madame de Worde" therefore graciously allowed DisBo to
take it to his favourite bar to be rigorously tested by the Sundry
Denizens at the weekly games night on pain of pain should any damage
The overall opinion of all, in the end, was that the game is rather
too complicated. It has many good ideas, but there are so many of
them that instead of being a good, fun game it becomes a slog where
so many things slow the game play down that the basics become
repetitive. We had a mix of Discworld fans and non-fans, and this
seemed to hold true for all.
For the fans, there was also some hit-and-miss artwork and some
inconsistencies that were annoying. Some of the cards were lovely
representations of the depicted character, and some were very, very
wrong. And while great care had gone into finding a quote describing
each character to accompany the portrait, the game characteristics
assigned to each had little or nothing to do with how that character
was portrayed in the books. For someone not familiar with the books,
like DisBo, that would make no difference to how the game is played,
but for a fan the inconsistency was annoying.
There were also rules that were not well enough defined and caused
some problems with game play. For instance, there was nothing in the
rules about what happens when a player has been stomped on by the
Luggage and a player with the Pox already occupies the nearest
hospital. Does the stomped player get Pox, and if so, do the two
players continually re-infect each other as they try to leave the
hospital? Or should the stomped play instead go to the nearest
unoccupied hospital? The Sundry Denizens were unable to work out a
useful way of dealing with this situation.
In summary, this is a game clearly designed by big fans of the
Discworld, full of loving detail and good ideas to make the game
different. However, the good ideas should have, perhaps, to be
scaled back a little in order to not clash and cause the game to
drag out. Ultimate verdict: promising, but flawed.
Review of Guards! Guards!: The Board Game
by Steven D'Aprano
In "Guards! Guards!" (available from http://www.guardsguards.com),
the eight Great Spells are loose again, and it is up to you to
retrieve them, with a little help from the denizens of the Big
Wahoonie itself. Provided you can persuade or bribe them into
helping, while avoiding the pox, saboteurs, dragons, and the
"Guards! Guards!" is for serious game players: it takes a lot of
time to play all the way to the end, and there are a lot of rules to
learn and deal with: rules for winning over volunteers, combat with
dragons, conflict between players, collecting the Spells, wizards'
challenges, and more. The instruction manual even suggests that game
players can reduce the time needed by setting easier goals for
victory. But it can be fun, particularly for dedicated gamers who
aren't intimidated by complex rule sets. Stephen Player's
illustrated volunteer cards are excellent, and so it's a pity that
they spend so much time face down. To my mind, a highlight of the
game is the Luggage, which behaves as a sort of mobile "Go Directly
To Hospital" square. Less successful are the dragons, which I
believe unbalance the game.
My first attempt at running the game was a failure: my friends and I
realised that after an hour of game play we had barely got started.
As the next day was a work day we decided to try again when we had
more free time. Our second attempt was much more successful: we were
able to get through all the major elements of game play, enough to
see the fun side of it, although again we ran out of time and
declared the game over just before I was able to spring my cunning
plan and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
I can't really recommend this game for casual game players. It's a
big game, with many rules and a lot of different things happening,
and yet at the same time it's not a fast-paced game (perhaps partly
because we had to keep stopping to check the rule book). But for
serious gamers who like a long game with a fair bit of complexity
and challenge, I think this is more than worthwhile. One weakness,
in my opinion, is that it is too easy for players to spend their
time playing defensively by avoiding each other. But once we decided
to throw caution to the wind, the game thawed nicely and became much
Overall, I would have to say that the game's successes are greater
than its failures. But next time I play "Guards! Guards!", I'll play
under House Rules and leave out the dragons.
10) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
10.1 REMINDER: WYRD SISTERS IN SHERBORNE
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.
10.2 COME JOIN THE STC
The Studio Theatre Club, otherwise known as Stephen Briggs' home
from home, is seeking warm bodies, um, fresh meat, erm, new
"We enjoy staging a wide range of plays at the Unicorn Theatre in
Abingdon and we want our audiences to see the best shows possible.
We also meet socially outside rehearsals - for informal parties,
meals, pub nights, country walks, clubbing, girls' nights, lads'
nights, sitting around the TV watching old Johnny Depp DVDs, cinema
& theatre visits and other stuff I didn't think of when I was typing
For more info and a list of official and unofficial STC rules, go
10.3 GUARDS! GUARDS! IN CHIPPING SODBURY
The Sodbury Players will be performing their production of Guards!
Guards! in May.
When: 16th-19th May 2012
Time: 19:30, except for 19th May: 22:30 (hmm, bit of a late start...
Venue: Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, Broad Street, Chipping Sodbury,
Tickets: £8 (concessions £7)
Box Office: 0844 332 0230 or tickets@...
10.4 THE TRUTH IN DURHAM
The Shoestring Theatre Company will present their production of The
truth in early May.
When: Thursday 3rd May to Saturday 5th May 2012
Venue: Stanley Community Centre, Tyne Road, Stanley, Durham DH9 6PZ
Time: Performances start 7:15pm
Tickets: £5 (£4 concessions)
For more details, email shoestringtc@... or ring 0776 675 1048
10.5 MASKERADE IN HAYLING ISLAND
Hayling Island Amateur Dramatic Society (HIADS) will be presenting
Maskerade next month.
When:Sat 19th May Sat 26th May
Venue: Station Theatre, Station Road, Hayling Island PO11 0EH
10.5 JOHNNY AND THE BOMB: NOW, THE MUSICAL!
Matthew Holmes, creator of the excellent TAMAHER The Musical, has
now turned his hand to adapting Johnny and the Bomb for children's
theatre, and a little birdie tells me it follows an appropriate
World War 2-era music theme and is very good indeed. The hour-long
production, which features seven songs and non-vocal music, had its
successful premieres at Church Broughton Primary School in
Derbyshire on the 8th and 9th of February and John Port School (also
in Derbyshire) on the 21st and 22nd of March.
The performance pack for Johnny and the Bomb (ISBN 9781408165607)
will be published by A&C Black/Bloomsbury Publishing PLC on 16th
August 2012. In the meantime, Waterstones online offers a pre-order
"Sir Terry Pratchett's enquiring adventure into time travel has its
young teen hero, Johnny Maxwell, and his friends confronted with
their own bomb-stricken street in WWII. Can they change history and
avert the catastrophe? Matthew Holmes' script and song superbly
support the plot in a musical for young people to perform and
everyone to enjoy. Johnny and his friends travel back in time to
their own street, site of a bombing raid intended for a nearby
industrial complex. 'Collateral damage' is not the only disturbing
issue: what happens to the present if you try to save lives in the
past? Serious subjects, but with Terry Pratchett there's always the
humour as well, and the musical includes a host of likeable
characters. Matthew Holmes' script skilfully carries the plot along
in Terry Pratchett style and his music swings to contemporary pop
and the glorious sound of the forties Big Band. The complete
performance pack with its photocopiable script and piano vocal score
includes everything you need for rehearsing and presenting the final
show, plus there's full audio support on CD so you don't need to
read a note of music."
11) DISCWORLD ARTS AND CRAFTS NEWS
We do need some steenkin batches! Here be the latest from PJSM
Unseen University Alumni Badge: "Cock-a-snook at mere undergraduates
with this Unseen University Alumni Badge." Approximately 35mm high.
Unseen University Doctoral badge: "Cock-an-even-bigger-snook at
holders of inferior degrees with this Unseen University Doctoral
Badge." Approximately 40mm high. Price £4.95
New Discworld minis including Moist as head of Royal Bank with
golden top hat and Mr Fusspot (£8.00), Tiffany Aching with frying
pan (£7.50), and Guards!Guards!-era Sam Vimes in nightshirt and
fluffy slippers and armed with a loaded dragon (£7.50):
Those College Hoodies are now available as T-shirts! By Fruit of the
Loom (still a reputable quality Roundworld manufacturer) and priced
at £15.00 each, they come in sizes Small (38"), Medium (40"), Large
(43"), Extra Large (45"), and Extra Extra Large (48"). Designs
include Unseen University (golden yellow on burgundy), Brazeneck
College (burgundy on heather grey), and Bugarup University (white on
...and another new ecard from the Cunning Artificer. This one's very
Monty Python-influenced and quite sweet...erm...that is...
12) DEATH VERSUS...DEATH?!
Here be a fun little gem of an article entitled "Literary Slap
Fight: Gaiman's Death vs. Pratchett's Death", in which Susan Sto
Helit stands in for her more famous grandfather (as she often does
in Discworld narrative):
"Sure, we could comb through the world's rich mythology and pick our
favorite Grim Reaper, but why do that when our favorites can only be
found in the works of the two greatest living British authors. Both
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett have famous Deaths, and today we pit
them against each other for the honor of hauling our pasty spirit
out of the tub into whatever after life there is.
"In This Corner: In Neil Gaiman's Sandman cosmology, the functions
of living existence are overseen by seven beings called the Endless.
The second eldest of these is Death. Don't let the perky goth girl
outfit and bright smile fool you. Yes, she is friendly face upon the
end of your life, but she takes her job very seriously, and as one
of the most powerful forces in the universe it is generally bad idea
to piss her off.
"And In This Corner: To keep things on a more even keel,
Pratchett's Discworld will actually be represented by Death's
granddaughter Susan Sto-Helit, who occasionally fills in for her
grandfather in times of need. Though she spends most of her time out
in the non-paranormal world, she has access to a wide variety of
abilities whenever she assumes her heritage..."
(Be sure to click through to the second page!)
13) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
13.1 UNSEEN UNIVERSITY CONVIVIUM UPDATES
Ladies, Gentlemen and Students, there's now only just over three
months until the Unseen University Convivium! Please come and join
us at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, Roundworld on
July 6-8, 2012. Details of the Convivium are, as always, available
We have managed to arrange some deals with hotels and hostels near
the University, so please consider booking at one of the following
Options range from a luxurious four star hotel down to the budget
backpackers but please do not feel restricted by our
recommendations, stay anywhere you like.
For those who would like to save money and share a room with a
strange friend or friendly stranger, please use this forum thread
for arranging things:
If you live locally in Adelaide and would be willing to give up your
spare bed or floor space to a visitor, or if you're a visitor who
really wants to save money, please discuss billeting arrangements on
this forum thread:
Some newly released information for items on our programme!
* The Maskerade costume competition is now open for applicants! You
can read all the details and
download an application form at
* Transmogrification Get yourself turned into a frog. Or a
werewolf, troll, zombie, vampire, Feegle, or any other creature!
Face & body painting available by appointment only at reasonable
prices. In addition, a demonstration of a full-body painting will be
done during Gaudy Night. To find out more details, see:
And of course, our wondrous guests and performers will be presenting:
* Unseen Theatre Company's "Pratchett Pieces 3" reprising some of
their short plays from the
Adelaide Fringe Festival
* Snowgum Films presents some behind-the-scenes footage and info
about their in-production film "Troll Bridge", based on the Terry
Pratchett short story
* Martin Pearson performs his own style of comedy and folk music
* Matt Falloon and his Trained Balloons will turn inflated bladders of
rubber into magical creatures before your very eyes!
* Matt Falloon will also be presenting Magic and Ballooning workshops
for those who wish to learn these amazing skills.
You can find out more about other programme items at
The Unseen University Convivium programme runs at the following times:
Fri 6 July 6pm to midnight
Sat 7 July 9am to midnight
Sun 8 July 10am to 5pm
Mon 9 July (Winery & Gourmet Tours) 9am to 5pm
A more detailed timetable of events will be available in early June.
We are also still looking for several volunteers to run or
participate in various programme items, so please check out the list
and let us know if you can help us out!
EXCLUSIVE CONVIVIUM ATTENDEES-ONLY T-SHIRT AND SCARF
If there's one thing you need to show your friends that you've
attended the best Australian Discworld fan gathering of 2012, it's a
t-shirt bearing the slogan "I Learned To Spell Like A Wizzard."
If there's another thing, it's an official Unseen University
Both items are now available for preorder at:
These are exclusive to Convivium attendees only, and can be picked
up from the Faculty on arrival at the University. Orders must be
made by June 6th.
You can still buy other items of merchandise (available to everyone,
everywhere) from our Cafepress store at:
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read all the information available at the website: http://ausdwcon.org
Like us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/UnseenUni
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UnseenUni
Send us an email: UnseenUni2012@...
NULLUS ANXIETAS IV
Last of all, we'd like to let you know that the next major
Australian Discworld Convention after the Convivium will be Nullus
Anxietas IV, to be held at the Bell Rydges Hotel and Convention
Centre in Melbourne, Victoria from 8-10 March, 2013.
Detailed information will be at http://ausdwcon.org
after the Convivium, but for now, you can use social media to keep
Unseen University Convivium
University of Adelaide, South Australia, 6-8 July 2012
13.2 AUSDWCON 2013 NEWS
The official poster for Nullas Anxietas 4!
13.3 WINCANTON SPRING EVENT 2012
"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
13.4 NADWCON 2013 UPDATES
The new official convention logo!
Some cautionary hotel news:
Because we keep getting asked and since we now have the hotel
contract signed I have created an official event for 2013. Start and
end times are subject to change based on programming and we will
update these to reflect the official opening and closing ceremony.
It is out intention to have the opening ceremony mid to late
afternoon to allow those traveling on the 5th to attend. The closing
ceremony will most likely be from 3-4pm. I expect there will be some
programming items prior to the official opening ceremony.
I will endeavour to get the dates prominently displayed on FB front
Chair, NADWCon 2013
14) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club meets on the last
Thursday of the month from 6.30pm at the Ed Castle, 233 Currie St,
Adelaide (South Australia). Details, discussions and organisation of
extra events (such as play outings) are held on their email mailing
list, so do sign up at:
The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, London's original Discworld
meeting group, will be from 7pm on 2nd April 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 April 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 April 2012 at The Vic
Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco. For more information contact:
Daniel Hatton at daniel_j_hatton@...
15) ACTION REPLAY: PTERRY'S UPDATED BIOGRAPHY AT PJSM PRINTS
In case you missed this, the biography page was updated last year by
Colin Smythe. Well worth a read, as are Colin's collected convention
(not http://www.colinsmythe.co.uk/terrypages/tpconventions.htm as
given on the PJSM bio page)
16) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
16.1 Covers! For Dodger! Both the UK and the USA versions:
16.2 "My name is Tom Broadbent. I'm a photographer..." Broadbent's blog
about his Pterry photoshoot for Bizarre magazine (see also Around
the Blogosphere) includes two lovely shots!
16.3 A great-looking larger image of last year's UK Nanny Ogg postage
16.4 ...and some fabulous Paul Kidby Discworld art:
Rincewind in Fourecks: http://tinyurl.com/7aogzwv
Conina (wow!): http://tinyurl.com/7wvusnj
Greebo, human form, opera-ready (wrowwwrrr!):
Death, the beekeeper: http://tinyurl.com/6mae54d
Vimes, with loaded dragon: http://tinyurl.com/75agry8
The Hogfather (stamp design): http://tinyurl.com/865nqmg
...and Victor Tugelbend, perfectly captured as a 50-50 blend of
Errol Flynn and Liam Neeson:
17) "APOCALYPSE COW" ALMOST READY TO ROLL
Michael Logan, co-winner of the first Pratchett Prize, is looking
forward to seeing his finished book on the shelves:
"We aren't there yet. It's rather like climbing a mountain and
reaching a plateau near the top only to see another peak ahead. The
foreword by Terry Pratchett, dedications, author bio and
acknowledgements are all missing from the text, but the end is now
in sight, and to actually have something in my hand that looks like
a book feels wonderful. The cover was exactly as I expected, and
looks very striking, but I was also pleased with the spine, which
looks very funky, and the prominent quote from Sir Terry on the
back, saying the book made him 'snort with laughter'. Even if the
book bombs, knowing I made the man considered one of Britain's
foremost humorists laugh gives me a sense of achievement that will
remain with me for the rest of my life..."
18) DISCWORLD AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
Blogger easyondeyes on Jingo:
Ever since I read my first Terry Pratchett I was completely bowled
over by his storytelling; from the style of it to the content of it,
I found it riveting and the love has not waned. I love the way he
takes simple things we know and turns them on their head or twists
them till everything is facing the other way; and how even his
twisted and undeniable humour cannot hide the gentle, unbending
wisdom that runs through his tales. I wouldn't care if Pratchett
wrote for 5-year olds I'd still read his books... Jingo is a book
about everything and nothing. No, I'm not getting philosophical on
you. But unless people fighting over an uninhabitable island that
grew out of the sea is an everyday incident for you then yes, it is
about nothing. And yet, the metaphor is one that cannot be
missed.... as the crisis is brought to strangely unexpected
solutions (yes, more than one and unexpected if you're not reading a
Pratchett novel) you can't help but wonder if there are some
unlikely heroes amongst us too who'll rise when we need them most
and miraculously everything will be just peachy..."
Ashtoreth Eldritch had a self-described "Weatherwax Moment":
"What it is about semi-truck drivers that think they can be road
hogs just because they're in a huge, gas guzzling machine is beyond
me. Said driver had parked across two columns of spaces and most of
one of the driving aisles, and decided that he was going to move
forward after I had begun backing my car out of my parking space. I
stopped in the middle of the aisle, turned round and stared at him.
He blinked and crept forward an inch. I stared at him. He blinked. I
stared. He blinked. The wheels on the semi began to move backward
Blogger ashsilverlock offers a Pratchett overview:
"Pratchett makes no secret of outside influences on his work: they
are a major source of his humour. He imports numerous characters
from classic literature, popular culture and ancient history, always
adding an unexpected twist. Pratchett is also a crime novel fan,
which is reflected in the frequent appearances of the Ankh-Morpork
City Watch in the Discworld series. Growing up, Pratchett cites his
earliest inspiration as coming from reading the works of H G Wells,
Arthur Conan Doyle and, in his words, 'every book you really ought
to read' something which he later came to regard as the best
education he could ever have received. It was the fantasy genre
which always held a special interest for Pratchett, however, as
illustrated by the comments he made in his acceptance speech upon
being presented with the Carnegie Medal, one of the most prestigious
awards in literature... With millions of fans and conventions
arranged regularly to celebrate his work, Pratchett is one of the
few authors who seems to have an influence that reaches well outside
his writing. He is involved in charitable work, voices political
opinions (often controversially so) and is incredibly generous with
his time to both fans and collaborators..."
Blogger Literary Tiger has fallen in love with tCoM, but most of all
with the Luggage:
"My favorite character (if you can call it that) is the sapient
pearwood luggage. It's like a loyal pet that follows Twoflower
everywhere. It carries all of Twoflower's things, and it can get
vicious if kept between it and its master. I confess that I probably
would not have chosen this book on my own. It was a book club pick,
but I'm glad I read it. So, if you're in a humorous frame of mind,
stop by Discworld. Don't worry too much about all the different
things you will encounter, you'll get the hang of it soon enough..."
Blogger Ginna offers a brief review of Monstrous Regiment:
"Okay, so I like Terry Pratchett a whole lot! And this book is one
of the reasons why. The story follows a girl named Polly in the war
weary land of Borogravia (in Pratchett's Discworld). Polly's brother
has been away on the front lines for some time, leaving her to take
care of the family business. But when Polly doesn't hear from Paul,
and she risks losing their inn if he doesn't come home soon, Polly
decides that she can't sit at home anymore. She cuts off her hair,
calls herself 'Oliver,' and joins Sergeant Jackrum's peculiar band
of inadequate recruits. (I know a few of you are thinking 'this has
been done a million times,' but, trust me, you haven't heard this
story before! There are twists that make this book 1000% worth
Blogger bodastory only just discovered Pratchett and Discworld (by
way of reading Going Postal as a first try!), but has embraced both
with delighted enthusiasm:
"I read it straight away, despite having a backlog of oooohh at
least 12 other books 'to be read', and had to admit my friend was
right, he was an amazing author! Obviously I started collecting his
works straight away (no mean feat as I live in Spain but collect
books in my native English, hurrah for the internet!) and I soon
picked out my favourites. Strangely, even though it was my first,
'Going Postal' is not one of my favourites. I loved and still
love Vetinari, but my absolute favourite characters are Nanny
Ogg, Granny Weatherwax, Death, Mustrum Ridcully, Sam Vimes and, of
course, the unforgettable 'Nobby' Nobbs.
"Pratchett's dry observations about society, our worries and our
issues are hilarious, poignant and right on the ball. His books are
a mix of sarcasm, wit, magic and pure genius. They can be read as a
series or alone, and you can expect to find observations on ANY
subject, ranging from football, dancing, foreigners, Hollywood,
death, science, fairy tales, rock'n'roll, hierarchy, literature,
modern-day films and much more... A person who since 1983 has
written two books a year on average, sold over 75 million books
worldwide in thirty-seven languages, has an asteroid named after
them, was the UK's best-selling author of the 1990s, and is
currently still writing despite suffering from Alzheimer's disease,
is a genius in anyone's book..."
Blogger L.S. Engler is back, this time with a review of Moving
"One of my favorite things about Pratchett's writing is the nuance
he's able to accomplish. His humor and jokes are often subversive
and subtle, clever and underhanded. Most of the jokes and humor in
Moving Pictures, however, felt a little too obvious for my tastes.
As a matter of fact, the book itself felt that way. A parody of
Hollywood and the movie business, the writing is still smart, the
satire of such a pop culture entity searing, but it is one of the
earlier Discworld novels and I often feel that Pratchett hasn't
quite hit his stride yet with some of them. I was tempted to say
that perhaps the problem is that Hollywood is a distinctly American
phenom: Pratchett's British humor might be clashing a little with
the outrageous of an American product, but then I recall Witches
Abroad, which bring his characters to a very New Orleans setting,
and I thought that book was brilliant... Moving Pictures was still a
delight, though perhaps not the full tour de force as some of my
favorite Discworld tales. There is still an awful lot of clever
stuff going on here, some very nice turning of traditional
conventions and cliches onto their ears, and two main characters
that I found incredible real in the fact that I saw a lot of myself
in both of them..."
Blogger The Raging Bibliophile wants a new ratings system, having
given Snuff more than five out of five stars:
"The best [Discworld] books are either the ones that are just
straight-up funny or the ones that tackle an issue with aplomb...
This is also not to say that I disliked the earlier books that
riffed on various plots from Shakespeare and the Greeks (Lords &
Ladies is terrific) but as Pratchett has gotten older, he's
started to turn his hand to social commentary. This is the first
book that I can remember (granted it's been many years since I
started the series and there are like 40 books) that, while quite
funny, tips the scales in favor of the social issues... I will say
that the funny is slightly lessened in this book as compared to
others. Sure, there's still something laugh-out-loud funny every
few pages but there's a real seriousness to the tone of the
book and I'd be lying if I said that didn't catch me off-
guard... I found that the book demanded more from me than I
expected. Even the scenes of Sam watching Young Sam and reflecting
on what it is to be a father... there was an incredibly human
shading to all of it that touched something deep inside of me..."
Blogger Jen Dublin approves of Unseen Academicals:
"What I love most about Pratchett's writing style (aside from his
irreverent humor) is how Pratchett times the punch lines. His timing
builds anticipation so I wanted to keep reading. I knew something
was coming but I didn't know what which made this book fun to
read. And another aspect that I love about Unseen Academicals is
that it all comes together. The book has a plot and character
development. At times I wondered how Pratchett was going to tie all
together. Everything seemed to be a bit disorganized, but as I read
on everything made sense. The main characters are likeable (even
Lord Vetinari), and while there were a couple of slow spots, the
book provided a fast-paced read..."
Blogger jennieflower has mixed feelings about tCoM:
"This is the first novel in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series which
has sold over 20 million copies as a series since this book was
published in 1983. I had never felt inclined to read a Terry
Pratchett novel before; I always thought that you needed to have a
lot of imagination to get along with them. After reading The Colour
of Magic, I think I judged too harshly but it still wasn't my cup of
tea... I enjoyed the first story very much, it starts at the end of
the story and then goes back to how it unfolded. The second story
was quite dramatic, but by the third I was quite bored..."
...while blogger Lena Frank was thoroughly charmed by it:
"I admit when I first started, it took a bit to wrap my brain around
the eclectic style and imagery that Pratchett uses. Once I got into
the storyline though, it became a fun rollercoaster. Seriously, what
is there not to love about place & time distortions happening in the
middle of your storyline? His writing reminds me greatly of Douglas
Adams' work, as in they both make me laugh out loud and look
ridiculous wherever I'm reading..."
Blogger and author Katie McDermott, aka A Thoroughly Good Blue,
offers a paean to Sir Pterry as author, Professor, *and* blackboard
"Terry Pratchett is the reason I write because he taught me the fun
you can have with language. He taught me how important it is to
imagine how things should be and work towards them.He taught me a
lot about people. His presence as a member of staff in Trinity
College was the icing on the cake when [she was] choosing to study
here. His inaugural lecture last year was brilliant and this year
there was a questions and answers session with him and the head of
the English Department. Myself and my friends were sitting in the
front row, a meter, maybe a meter and a half from the genius
himself. Afterwards there was a wine reception and while a few
people monopolised his time, asking questions and that, we still got
a picture with him and got to hob-nob over glasses of wine in the
Blogger element119 liked Thud! so much that s/he reviewed it twice:
"Studying philosophy means that reading a light hearted work of
fiction is a breath of fresh air compared to reading the dense
original works of philosophers or even articles that comment on
their original work. Anyway, as usual, I stood in some bookshop with
a dumb look about my face. I had no idea what to get, I didn't know
what I felt like reading and everything just seemed so bleh. And
then I spotted Terry Pratchett's book, Thud! A smile crept over my
face, a smile of pure glee. Here and there in my childhood, I have
picked up Terry Pratchett's books and not a single one of them has
managed to disappoint me..."
"Now it all sounds serious and political, and in a sense there are
serious messages within it. The historical aspect of the conflict
between the Dwarves and Trolls reminded me of the real world
irrational hate between ethnicities, one of the notorious ones being
the Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda which ended in a horrific genocide. But
of course, it is not so one sided and dull, as Pratchett uses a
combination of humour and real world parallels which are quite
charming. The one thing I remember from the book clearly was a
Gooseberry, a device obviously named after the Blackberry, that is
owned by Samuel Vimes. It is also very much like a Blackberry in its
functions; setting alarms, events, telling the time and carrying out
mathematical calculations, except that it is not a simple machine,
but a box that contains a mystic imp that speaks. Much more exciting
than a machine with a screen..."
Blogger Janet Sketchley was happily slain by Mort:
"Thank you to my friends who've been suggesting I read Terry
Pratchett. Starting part-way through his Discworld series may not
have been the wisest idea, but Mort stands alone quite nicely and I
don't think I lost anything this way..."
Blogger The Imaginarator hasn't finished Snuff yet, but so far
thinks it's, well, up to snuff:
"Finally got my hands on the latest Terry Pratchett novel for the
DiscWorld series. Ok it's been out since October last year but I
haven't had time to read it until today. I'm only about 60 pages
into the book and it's been an absorbing read. I've always loved
almost any book by Pratchett and this is no exception. The last book
I read was I shall wear midnight, the final book in the Tiffany
Aching and Wee Free Men 'trilogy'. That made me laugh till my
stomach literally ached. So I have high hopes for Snuff..."
Blogger quorren is rapturous about Witches Abroad:
"The book dovetailed perfectly with my on-again-off-again book, My
Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, a modern collection of
short stories with a fairy tale vibe. Fairy tales have been having
a comeback lately, with two Snow White movies due out soon and two
TV shows. I love being an armchair sociologist, so I've been
fascinated by the past recent years trying to figure out why
something in our collective subconscious was drawn to superhero
movies. And what is now pulling us towards fairy tales? The two
genres do have their similarities, namely being a conflict between
good vs. evil resurgence..."
Blogger Brook Kuhn reviews Wyrd Sisters:
"Granny Weatherwax is making her second appearance here, and brings
with her Pratchett's concept of 'headology', which largely comes
down to that if you insist that things work a certain way, most
people will believe you, and if you're stubborn enough about it, you
can usually bully the universe into agreeing with you, too. Magrat
is Pratchett's usual 'awkwardly normal-looking, even in the right
light' heroine, and parodies the new age witches. Granny Ogg is...
well, an old woman who likes to sing about hedgehogs when drunk.
I've read a fair share of Discworld books, and this is certainly one
of them. It's funny and clever, but never amazingly so. I enjoyed
it, but I didn't get into it the way I did some of the others..."
Blogger Labyrinth Librarian is back, musing on Moving Pictures the
novel, and the power of real-life moving pictures:
"I could, if I wanted, just start to catalog all the movie
references that Pratchett makes in this book, but that would be
ridiculous. Besides, someone has already done that for me, over at
L-Space, and even they say it's impossible to list them all. Suffice
it to say, if enough people remember it from classic cinema, then
it's in this book in one way or another. If it's a story told about
Hollywood and they heyday of the studio system, then it's in here
too. Whether you're an avid fan of the cinema or you just watch
whatever your friends are watching, you should be able to get a lot
of enjoyment out of this.
"The themes that Pratchett explores in this book are interesting,
too. One of these is the nature of fame. In one scene, the Patrician
of Ankh-Morpork, a man who holds the life of the city in his hands,
is seated next to Vincent and Ginger, the Disc's first movie
superstars. Even though the Patrician has worked hard to become the
ruler of the city, even though he is responsible for the lives and
well-being of everyone in it, he is still far less famous and
beloved than these two people who are famous just for standing in
front of a camera and saying things. And even though he knows this,
he still feels an odd thrill that he's actually sitting next to
them... As he does so often, Pratchett is using his world to comment
on our own, and in doing so is taking note of the immense power that
Blogger Ermilia aka Eliabeth (note spelling) Hawthorne gives Eric
four out of five stars:
"Eric has a few drops of very interesting wisdom like laughing at
the world to keep from losing your mind. Humans are more devious
than demons as the demons take note from the humans on how to
dethrone their leader and how best to torture people in Hell.
Inspiration from literature includes Homer's Iliad and Dante's
Inferno. It's a cute, possibly young adult story and very quick to
Blogger Ms Walsh was pleased by Snuff:
"I enjoyed Vimes tearing through the country side bringing Justice
to all who thought that they were beyond the law. However I was
expecting a little bit more justice but they just seemed to be dealt
with within a sentence or two :( Although this is a 'Watch' story
they weren't in it that much I generally l<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)