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WOSSNAME -- Main issue -- March 2012

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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion March 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 3, Post 1)
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 25 3:41 PM
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      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



      12) DEATH VERSUS...DEATH?!
      19) CLOSE



      "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
      March 2012

      "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



      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,
      go to:


      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!

      – Annie Mac



      3.1 DODGER

      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.


      "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
      the city."


      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




      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:





      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:





      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."



      "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)
      Format: PAL
      Running Time: 120 Minutes



      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..."




      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
      artists, right?)...."


      The website of Mort developer Mirko Schenk (coder and Pratchett fan)
      is here:





      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..."





      Damo writes:

      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.



      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
      more fun.

      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.




      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



      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...
      - Ed.)
      Venue: Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, Broad Street, Chipping Sodbury,
      S. Gloucestershire
      Tickets: £8 (concessions £7)
      Box Office: 0844 332 0230 or tickets@...



      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


      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
      Time: 7:45pm
      Tickets: £7



      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."




      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.
      Price £4.50

      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
      royal blue):


      ...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!)





      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
      at http://ausdwcon.org


      We have managed to arrange some deals with hotels and hostels near
      the University, so please consider booking at one of the following
      places: http://ausdwcon.org/pages/accommodation

      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!


      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
      Convivium scarf.

      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:


      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@...


      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
      yourself informed:
      Facebook — http://www.facebook.com/NullusAnxietasIV
      Twitter — http://www.twitter.com/NullusAnxietas4
      Google+ — https://plus.google.com/105712341206990016676

      Yours academically,

      The Faculty
      Unseen University Convivium
      University of Adelaide, South Australia, 6-8 July 2012

      13.2 AUSDWCON 2013 NEWS

      The official poster for Nullas Anxietas 4!



      "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



      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@...



      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)



      16.1 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:




      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..."




      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
      very slowly..."


      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
      same room..."


      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
      Hollywood has..."


      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)
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