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WOSSNAME -- Main issue -- May 2012

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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion May 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 5, Post 1) ********************************************************************
    Message 1 of 1 , May 20, 2012
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      May 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 5, 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



      22) CLOSE



      "His descriptions of the human mind within the context of both
      humour and an intriguing, intelligent narrative would transform any
      ordinary Psychology lecture into a refreshing example of the
      mechanics behind what it is to be human. If he hasn't already been
      given one, I recommend Terry Pratchett be awarded an honourary [sic]
      degree in Psychology."

      – from an uncredited essay on the British Psychological Society

      "I know, we should all be Terry Pratchett. But then what would *he*

      – science fiction author Elizabeth Bear

      "If Making Money were required reading at the Financial Services
      Authority, perhaps we would all be in much better shape."

      – finance reporter Simon English

      "Terry Pratchett is expecting more books from Terry Pratchett."

      – The Author, during an interview in Dublin



      The Glorious 25th is almost upon us! There doesn't seem to be much
      in the way of Wear the Lilac internet activity this year, but like
      Sam Vimes, Reg Shoe, Lord Vetinari and a few other special Ankh-
      Morpork dwellers (and millions of Discworld fans), we must never

      What duck? A WOSSNAME reader spotted this adorable article about a
      man who goes out with his trained pet duck Boris on his head:

      "'People sort of look gobsmacked when they see me and Boris, they
      can't work it out. They say to me "why have you got a duck?" and I
      say "why have you got a dog?"... He doesn't think he's a duck. I try
      to take him out for walks every day. And although Boris has taken to
      pubs, cafes, beaches and cars like a duck to water, there's one area
      where he won't take the plunge. Unfortunately, I didn't teach him
      how to swim....'"


      In The Guardian online's travel section you can find a delightful
      "literary walk" to Ashdown Forest in Oxfordshire, with detailed
      directions and an interactive map. The walk begins at the Uffington
      White Horse and includes a stretch of the Ridgeway (probably the
      oldest road in Britain). And why is this of interest, apart from
      the loveliness of the area (which your Editor knows well)? Why,
      because it's Roundworld's version of *that* horse:

      "One of England's outstanding ancient sites, the 3,000-year-old
      White Horse has found its way into many stories and poems, including
      GK Chesterton's The Ballad of the White Horse and, perhaps now most
      famously, Terry Pratchett's A Hat Full of Sky. That book's heroine,
      Tiffany Aching, grew up near a similar horse and wears a necklace
      depicting it. ''Taint what a horse looks like,' she recalls her
      father telling her. 'It's what a horse be.' Pratchett lives close to
      the real one, and once you've seen it for yourself it's easy to
      understand why it should appear in his work..."


      Remember, the 21st of next month sees the first special paperback
      reissues of the first five Discworld novels (The Colour of Magic,
      The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort and Sourcery). Each book will
      be priced at £7.99 and each cover will feature one part of the
      original Josh Kirby cover illustrations.

      Now, on with the show!

      – Annie Mac, Editor



      Lynsey from Transworld writes:

      It's exactly four months till Dodger is dodging its way to
      bookshelves and to celebrate we're exclusively revealing some
      characters that appear in the book! Dodger features real characters
      of the time in which it's set including the following:

      Charles Dickens!
      James Mayhew
      Sir Robert Peel
      and even Queen Victoria!



      On Half Sick of Shadows by David Logan, Pterry writes:

      "David Logan's anomalous world, the world of the Manse, is an
      unsettling place to be, precisely because he springs that shock on
      his unsuspecting characters – an uncommon trick, which requires
      the audacity not just to make a new world from scratch, but to
      unmake it too. After all, getting a second opinion on the rules of
      reality can be a dangerous thing – as you'll know if you are
      familiar with the poem from which Half-Sick of Shadows takes its
      name. Once you start to question the laws and promises that hold
      your world together, the whole thing can start to come apart. So
      step inside the world of the Manse, and watch it unravel around

      ...and on Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan:

      "I was looking for books set at any time, in any place. I hadn't
      considered the possibility of a world in which cows became ruthless,
      libidinous killers, but it is a tribute to Michael Logan's
      imaginative powers that he was able to do so, and serendipitously,
      to come up with one of the best bovine puns in literary – or
      should that be cinematic? – history.

      "The key to creating an alternative world is that it has to be
      believable – on another variant of Earth, there might be some
      unusual goings-on, but you still recognize that it is Earth.
      Apocalypse Cow has stayed true to that – the world it portrays is
      so slightly removed from our own that it could almost be teetering
      on the crotch of time, threatening at any moment to change its mind
      and tip down our own trouser leg. Think about that the next time you
      tuck into a steak."



      Thanks to Ramtopsman of Discworld Fanatics, we can all watch
      Professor Sir Pterry's recent extended interview with Ryan Tubridy
      on The Late Late Show in Dublin:


      [Editor's note: I have seen comments here and there to the effect
      that LLS host and interviewer Tubridy is, as we say back home, an
      "eejit" who ran a poor interview and seemed to know nothing
      whatsoever of Pratchett's work. having watched both parts of the
      interview several times, I can't say that I agree with any of these
      claims; to me, Tubs comes across as a good, earnest interviewer
      who's phrased some of his questions in a way to draw out explanatory
      answers for viewers who *might not be* familiar with the man and his
      work. Just saying.]



      From BBC News:

      "Sir Terry's hit novel Snuff is in the running for the 13th
      Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. It is the
      author's fourth nomination having missed out the past three times...
      The award is named after the humorist PG Wodehouse and previous
      winners include Jonathan Coe's The Rotter's Club, DBC Pierre's
      Vernon God Little and Solar by Ian McEwan..."


      From The Bookseller:

      "Doubleday has two authors on the shortlist for this year's
      Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, with Sir Terry
      Pratchett being nominated for a fourth time... The winner will be
      announced in late May, with the prize consisting of a jeroboam of
      Bollinger Special Cuvee, a case of Bollinger La Grande Annee, and a
      set of the Everyman Wodehouse collection which totals over 80 books.
      The winner is also presented with a locally-bred Gloucestershire Old
      Spot pig..."


      In The Guardian:

      "All the chosen books, said judges, 'share an element of Wodehousian
      humour', despite covering topics from post-crash London to goblin
      slavery. 'It's a really happy list which resonates with lots of the
      verbal wit, delightful characterisation and satirical edge of
      Wodehouse's own work. There are three great comic writers on top
      form – O'Farrell, Pratchett and Townsend, John Lanchester's
      masterly novel Capital that teems with humour and Julian Gough's
      picaresque satire Jude in London,' said judge and director of the
      Hay festival Peter Florence..."




      In This is London:

      "The 64-year-old fantasy author, who was diagnosed with a form of
      Alzheimer's disease in 2007, said: 'Kids now seem unmotivated in
      school. I think social media is not helping at all, and texting
      certainly isn't. You have to have interaction with other people.
      When people text me stuff I just think, "I'm not going to bother
      with that". Shakespeare went to a lot of trouble for our language,
      and now you've knocked away half of the consonants. If you have a
      wide vocabulary you can think different thoughts. It stops you
      getting frustrated. If you have the words to identify exactly what
      you mean, you can get your message across and I'm sure this is
      linked to rough behaviour.'

      "Sir Terry, who has sold more than 65 million books and was speaking
      at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards, added: 'I have an industrialist
      thing where if a kid comes to see me and can look me in the face,
      shake hands, sit down in their chair and know how to look at someone
      - it doesn't matter what kind of accent he's got. If he can make
      himself heard and make me laugh and tell me a joke, if you can do
      that I'd probably give him any kind of job I've got going.'
      Educational psychologist Dr Kairen Cullen agreed that social media
      and texting could harm a child's interpersonal skills..."




      From the British Psychological Society:

      "One could describe his work as fantasy meets fairytale, folklore,
      quantum physics and philosophy, but they also tell us a lot about
      psychology. One such example is the power of belief in creating
      reality. There are numerous DiscWorld characters appearing
      repeatedly in the series, including humans, trolls, dwarves and
      other species. One character is Death, a large skeleton complete
      with black robe and scythe (and white horse called Binky!). Death
      came into existence in this form purely through human belief. There
      are also many Gods in the world, some small, some all-powerful, some
      barely a whisper on the wind. Their strength and power is entirely
      dependent on the number of their believers and the strength of their

      "Several books feature witches, who act as nurse, midwife, and
      counsel to the villages in which they live. Generally, they do not
      perform much magic (aside from broom transport) but as one witch,
      Granny Weatherwax, often cites, their role is all about Headology –
      again, what people believe is what is their reality. Communities
      believe in the 'magical' power of their local witch – both to heal
      and to destroy – and this, in turn, enables the witch to act with
      authority, often with little questioning of her advice and
      actions... Another theme relevant to Psychology is the concept that
      'form defines function'. If something takes on human shape it
      becomes human, affecting their thoughts, feelings, and behaviour.
      Hence Death's human form can affect his actions and emotions, and as
      the books progress he does indeed become more 'human'... His
      descriptions of the human mind within the context of both humour and
      an intriguing, intelligent narrative would transform any ordinary
      Psychology lecture into a refreshing example of the mechanics behind
      what it is to be human..."





      In Wales Online, an article about a very special choir:

      "Almost six years ago, Ann was diagnosed with early-onset
      Alzheimer's at the age of just 58. She has the same rare form of the
      disease as author Terry Pratchett and today her sight has failed and
      she has lost coordination in her hands. But, like most sufferers of
      dementia, music is proving the perfect therapy for Ann as well as
      Alan, a retired journalist and former press secretary for the Welsh
      Secretary, who now cares for his wife full time. They are members of
      the Forget-Me-Not Chorus, which started life as a Welsh National
      Opera community project during autumn 2010.

      "Working with Cardiff and Vale Alzheimer's Society, the trial looked
      at how singing was good for the brain and it proved such a success
      that it was turned into an opera residency the following spring.
      Although it's no longer part of WNO, the creative team behind the
      short term project – Sarah Teagle and Kate Woolveridge – decided
      to continue its work so the choir now meets weekly as the Forget-Me-
      Not Chorus. It will be officially launched at the Millennium Stadium
      on Thursday May 24... 'The choir's opened up a whole new world for
      us," says Alan. "Ann loves the camaraderie. Everyone there has
      different problems through dementia but everyone is united in music.
      It's really inspiring...'"




      A fairly loving look back by Connor Beaton:

      "This game is lacking about a decade of technological developments,
      but it claims to have pioneered an in-depth interrogation system,
      which is unfortunately a lot less Heavy Rain and a lot more Monkey
      Island. Regardless, the ensuing dialogue is as compelling as the
      pages of an actual Discworld novel, doing a remarkably good job of
      conveying the tone and humour of our aforementioned author...

      "If ever you find the opportunity to give Discworld Noir a shot, I
      recommend you take it up: I first discovered the game at a car boot
      sale years back, and while it's never made the list of my favourite
      games, I think that's down to myself and the rest of the gaming
      community regularly forgetting about its existence. Rest assured
      that you'll be hard pressed to find a noir game as enjoyable as the
      tale of Discworld's first and last private investigator..."

      For the full piece, go to:





      Hayling Island Amateur Dramatic Society (HIADS) is presenting
      Maskerade this week.

      When: to Sat 26th May
      Venue: Station Theatre, Station Road, Hayling Island PO11 0EH
      Time: 7:45pm
      Tickets: £7



      The Hemel Hempstead Theatre Company will put on their production of
      Wyrd Sisters next week in, yes, Hemel Hempstead.

      When: Wednesday 23rd May through Saturday 26th May
      Venue: The Boxmoor Playhouse, 72 St John's Road, Hemel Hempstead HP1
      1NP (phone 01442 234 004)
      Time: 7.45pm all shows
      Tickets: £9, £8.00 concession (stalls) & £10 (tiers) (Concessions
      available in the stall only)

      For directions online, go to:

      To purchase tickets online, go to:

      and click on the performance day you want, but note that you will
      have to have printer access, as you will be emailed your ticket and
      you must bring it with you to be admitted to the show!

      According to the website, "Parking is difficult. There is off road
      parking opposite the Church and opposite the Playhouse. There is a
      Council Car Park in Park Road (HP1 1JS) — free after 6pm."



      "An amateur dramatic group in Fowey has been selected to perform in
      the Royal Shakespeare Company's Open Stages project. Troy Players
      will perform a 20-minute excerpt of Wyrd Sisters – a derivation
      from the Weird Sisters who feature in Shakespeare's MacBeth – at
      the Hall for Cornwall on June 20. Troy Players' committee member
      Jules Jonklaas said the group was delighted with the opportunity and
      hoped for support at the event."



      Massey University Drama Society's production of Terry Pratchett's
      Lords and Ladies reviewed by Mervyn Dykes:

      "If there are two words designed to get a lover of fantasy's juices
      running there's a good chance they would be 'Terry Pratchett'. Take
      his flat-earth-style creation, Discworld, for example. It barrels
      through space balanced on the backs of four elephants which are in
      turn standing on a giant star turtle. Surely nothing "ordinary"
      could happen in such a magic-infused world? Massey University's
      young players make a bold attempt to prove this in their recreation
      of Lords and Ladies... The cast gave it their all, but on opening
      night the audience was too small to reach critical mass and gave
      them little back to play off or to. Another problem was that the
      imagery in Pratchett's books is so vivid that readers have no
      trouble building the world in their minds. However, the stage
      setting and costuming in the Massey production were too spartan and
      ordinary to encourage the same effect. With a bigger and noisier
      audience it might have been possible to get away with it, but not
      last night. This said, Massey Drama Society's young players deserve
      every credit for the energy and effort they put into this




      An egg-sized "hard-boiled egg" inscribed with "Freedom Truth Justice
      reasonably priced Love" would be just the thing for your next
      Glorious 25th party - and the Discworld Emporium has them in stock!
      "When commemorating the Glorious 25th of May, this elegant egg is
      always a fitting tribute. Each egg stands at 2 inches high, and is
      produced in an ivory finish. Presented in a lilac cotton drawstring

      Priced at £5.00 each. For more information, and to order, go to:




      In SFX Magazine, Will Salmon reviews Michael Logan's "Apocalypse

      "Despite its daft premise, Apocalypse Cow is played mostly straight.
      For the characters, these events are horribly real. But while
      Logan's breezy prose style is perfect for describing psychotic
      Scottie dogs, it doesn't quite gel with the darker moments. An early
      scene where a character watches a child get trampled beneath a flock
      of sheep is particularly uncomfortable. Still, there are plenty of
      laughs to be had, particularly from Logan's trio of charmingly
      useless protagonists..."


      Blogger Curiosity Killed the Bookworm reviews David Logan's "Half
      Sick of Shadows":

      "Out of the two offerings from the Terry Pratchett prize, Half Sick
      of Shadows is the more literary choice. This isn't going to appeal
      to everyone. The blurb makes out that the story is about time
      travel. Whilst it may very well be about time, don't expect lots of
      time travelling escapades. The pace is rather slow, especially
      during Edward's school years, yet each page is a joy to read and
      contains something quotable. The humour is very different to
      Apocalypse Cow, perhaps a bit cleverer but certainly more




      From a surprising source – the business section of This is London
      – comes a fascinating review of Making Money:

      "If Making Money were required reading at the Financial Services
      Authority, perhaps we would all be in much better shape. When the
      tyrant Lord Vetinari appoints the head of the post office to run the
      Royal Bank of Ankh Morpork, objections fly. Doesn't he realise that
      banks should be run by people who understand banks? Vetinari
      responds: "People who understand banks got it into the position it
      is in now. And I did not become ruler of Ankh-Morpork by
      understanding the city. Like banking, the city is depressingly easy
      to understand. I have remained ruler by getting the city to
      understand me.' This storyline finds a parallel in the FSA's
      handling of the sale of 632 branches of Lloyds to the Co-op, a deal
      that now seems unlikely to happen. The difference being that unlike
      Vetinari, the FSA insists that only people who have previously
      mucked up banks can run them in future..."




      First we had iPad-using orangutans ('as reported in last? month's?
      issue), now it seems that some of them might want to spend all their
      time playing Magic: the Gathering and being slackers:

      "When male orangutans hit puberty, they develop distinct traits
      known as secondary sex characteristics that separate them from
      females. In addition to being much bigger, males grow longer,
      shaggier hair on their arms and back and sport giant cheek pads.
      They also have throat pouches that resemble large double chins,
      allowing males to beckon females with loud long calls. Some males
      are late bloomers, not acquiring these traits until as late as age
      30. But looks can be deceiving. Even though these males appear to be
      youngsters, they are sexually mature and capable of siring
      offspring. Scientists think the two different types of adult males
      — those with secondary sex characteristics and those without —
      are two alternative mating strategies that evolved in orangutans...





      From Denise:

      Greetings everyone. I don't know about you, but I've been doing The
      Happy Dance over the news that our convention hotel is the marvelous
      Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. (1) Those of us who've been there
      know that the ConCom has made an excellent choice. Check out the
      link and the photos at the hotel's website and you'll see what I
      mean. Folks, you are going to love the Baltimore Harbor area, trust
      me. There is lots to see and do (and eat and buy) within easy
      walking distance of the hotel and this area is very safe and very

      Today's FAQs:


      Fans have been asking on Facebook when they can buy memberships.
      Baltimore's Con Chair, Richard Atha-Nichols writes:

      Not yet. We're working on the technical back end to ensure it's nice
      a smooth. Bear with us, it should be up in a couple of weeks.


      Another Facebook fan who is new to cons wondered if they could book
      their hotel and buy memberships from the website at the same time.
      The answer from Richard is both Yes & Soon and he makes an important
      note about hotel rates:

      When registration becomes available we'll provide a link to book the
      hotel at the discounted rates. Until then rooms can not be booked at
      the Marriott at the discounted rates.

      It seems NADWCon already has hundreds of fans with their credit
      cards at the ready, all waiting to secure their spot at NADWCon
      2013. Stay tuned to the usual sources:

      * NADWCon website, and/or the
      * NADWCon 2013 Facebook page and
      * The @nadwcon Twitter page for further news.

      I, too, will send out an alert as soon as the website is ready to
      take your orders.(2)

      See you there,


      (1) I didn't mention it before now because the hotel won't take our
      reservations for the con this far out. See Today's FAQ section re
      Booking Hotel Rooms.

      (2) The con's web team is testing the website's order and credit
      card functions and being verrra careful to make sure that security
      is tight, privacy is protected and that there are no glitches when
      the time comes to open the Order Page up to the fans. I am glad we
      have such a careful and professional web team on board - please give
      them your patience and support - djc



      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 4th June 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. For more
      information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax):



      Perth Drummers meet on the traditional date of first Monday of the
      month, from 6pm at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco. For more
      information contact:

      Daniel Hatton at daniel_j_hatton@...



      From Albedo One:

      "Mort was the first one that featured in best-seller lists but there
      is no doubt that if best-seller lists had anything to with sales (I
      know why it doesn't – they say the Bible would be number one all
      the time) but the annual sales of the other books are such that it
      would be surprising if there hadn't been weeks when they should have
      featured in the best-seller lists, technically. But the lists don't
      work that way. It's only to do with recently published books. So
      Mort was the first one that made it and I have to say that
      subsequent to that none of the others have failed. But there's
      always a first time..."

      "We knew in the Spring of '85 that Colour of Magic was doing well, I
      chucked the day job in Autumn of '87."

      "I would say it's likely if not definite that the next two years
      will see the first non-Discworld adult novel. Put adult in any kind
      of inverted commas you want. I've been thinking about it for some
      time. Not because I'm tired of the Discworld but because there are
      some things I can't do in the Discworld that I can do elsewhere. But
      I will keep the Discworld going while doing something else as well."

      "Johnny and the Dead is one of the books I am proudest to have
      written. It would be wrong to say that it laid ghosts but it was a
      book I was very glad to have written. There were things in it I
      couldn't possibly have done in Discworld and it got me the Writer's
      Guild Best Children's Book of the Year Award. And that was other
      writers voting. It wasn't some sort of self-appointed committee, it
      was other people who graft for a living. I was really chuffed to get
      that award."

      To read the full interview, go to:




      Pterry, relaxing in Borneo with a novel he made possible:





      The Snow Queen:
      A wild Pterry sighting, sort of =oD


      Sir Jase:
      That's gold but I wish he hadn't mentioned supercalifragilistic, I
      kept getting that tune instead of Major General!

      But but but the number of syllables is different! And the length of
      each line! If you take the sample line 'As Pratchett said,
      geography's just physics slowed with trees on top' and try to fit
      the syllables of 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' to it –
      ignoring, of course the weird emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABles, heh –
      you get 'AS Prat CHETT said GE o GRAPH y's JUST phy SICS slowed WITH
      ... TREES[1]', leaving 'on top' orphaned and lonely :P

      [1] the ellipsis is there to indicate the half-time enunciation to
      match 'docious'

      Sir Jase:
      I know that's what made it so horrible! It was just close enough in
      tune/rhythm/style/whatever that it all got scrambled in my half
      awake brain and I couldn't make it work in either cos I'd start a
      line in one and end in the other: I am the very model of a modern
      ali docious sor'a fing.

      So you were getting something like

      Sir Jase:
      Almost exactly that!


      Mrs Cake:
      Vetinari is often described as a member of an old and noble family,
      and we've met his aunt, Lady Roberta Meserole – but where's the
      rest of his family, parents, siblings, anybody? As far as I have
      been able to tell, he's a singularity. Anybody know?

      Presumably not that old and noble, or Downey wouldn't have been
      calling him Dog Botherer.

      Fuzzy, making the dread Wikipedia Assumption:
      There you go :-)

      I think it's one of those 'don't look too closely at it' cases.
      While we've never been given a solid origin story for Vetinari's
      family in the Discworld novels, various nods and throwaways
      throughout the series have mostly indicated that he comes from an
      old, powerful and very wealthy family, and yet in Night Watch we're
      given a strong impression that he's a day boy at the Guild – which
      would indicate that he came from a poorer, and probably socially
      lower, family... which is supported by the insinuations that his
      aunt – his only known relative, as you say – was a self-made
      courtesan-turned-socialite who probably tacked on the 'Lady'
      appellation herself.

      Mrs Cake:
      Perhaps his family was similar to the De'ath family – old and noble
      but reduced to a few members or perhaps only one, and yet Vetinari
      succeeded where Edward De'ath failed, though both seem similarly

      Alternatively, perhaps Havelock was from another family, adopted or
      sponsored by Meserole and remained separate from his "real" family
      for reasons of state. After all, is it possible for a tyrant to be
      so perfect with relatives hanging around?

      Ooh, I like these! Either or both. Mind you, now that it's on the
      internet, Pterry will never let it happen :P

      There's a not-so-subtle difference: Edward De'ath is driven, but
      Havelock Vetinari is driving. That is to say, De'ath's obsession is
      driven by unconscious forces he cannot control and probably doesn't
      understand. But Vetinari's obsession is far more under his own
      conscious control. He may or may not have any insight into the deep
      psychological basis for his care about the city (humans so rarely
      understand or even recognise their deepest motivations), but he
      controls it, it doesn't control him.



      Your monthly round-up of Pratchett-related bloggery!

      Blogger Novareylin reviews Guards! Guards!:

      "Oh! To not write a biased book review, but will I be able to help
      myself for this is, in my mind, one of the best Terry Pratchett
      Discworld novels... Vimes is a deliciously interesting character and
      as we see in this story he grows to be the man that we know him as
      today... This book was phenomenal. Hands down, fabulous. All of my
      favorite characters are in it and if you've never read Terry
      Pratchett the great thing about the Discworld is that you do not
      have to read them in order..."


      ...and also offers her own How I Discovered Pratchett essay:

      "My husband kept insisting that I would love his books. He had quite
      a few Terry Pratchett's laying around but my sense of humor and my
      husband's differ greatly so I didn't want to pick them up. For all
      of you naysayers out there, I definitely say, as hindsight is truly
      20/20, that you should try at least one if not two or three of his
      books to get a feel of how interesting and quite funny he can be. My
      first Terry Pratchett was The Amazing Maurice and his Educated
      Rodents. I could not put it down. I remember, laughing and crying
      and simply wondering why it took me so long to pick it up. Maybe it
      was because my husband wanted me to read it..."


      Blogger Dina has mixed feelings about the Discworld series but only
      good ones about TAMAHER:

      "I've had a very ambivalent relationship with the Discworld novels.
      While I loved two of them (Going Postal and Guards! Guards!), I
      found some others merely mediocre and got quite annoyed with the
      humour – it was just too much of the same, repeating itself within
      one story. However, Discworld never quite let go of me so I gave it
      another try. And was very much rewarded... Being aimed at a younger
      audience, I expected it to be simple with less deep characters. Boy,
      was I wrong. Terry Pratchett manages to strike a tone that will
      resonate with young adults (or smaller children, for that matter)
      and grown-ups alike... Terry Pratchett wouldn't be Terry Pratchett
      if he didn't use his stories to explore – in Discworld – some
      real-world issues. Again, this may be a book written for young
      adults but grown-ups (are we ever really?) can get just as much out
      of it. Pratchett truly is a great story-teller and he shook out a
      young adult (I'd even say middle-grade) novel that rivals authors
      who write exclusively for children..."


      Blogger Thomas Evans reviews the Wee Free Men audiobook... with

      "CRIVENS!!! I truly loved this story. Really... While in some ways
      the Feegles steal the show due to their ridiculous behavior, Tiffany
      remains the focus of this story throughout, and the proactive
      heroine of the tale. Indeed, one of the things I loved the best
      about this story is how brilliantly strong and proactive Tiffany is,
      while still seeming a completely believable nine-year old girl.[3]
      She is at times selfish, at times remarkably giving, at times
      frightened and always heroic. As such, Pratchett creates a brilliant
      role-model, particularly for young girls.[4]... Yet while the target
      audience for this book is mid-grade to young adults, it remained
      equally, if not more enjoyable for me: a middle-aged man. The tale
      is funny, but at no point does Pratchett condescend to his heroes
      (even the ridiculous Feegles) or to his audience. The latter is
      perhaps the sign of a truly great writer of YA fiction... Stephen
      Briggs does a wonderful wonderful wonderful job of narrating this
      book. He let's narrative do the work, uses voices only when
      necessary (and crivens! They are necessary in this book) and
      captures Pratchett's tone in a way that only someone who has worked
      closely with an author can do..."


      Blogger Jonathan Shaw reviews Snuff:

      "Sam is a wonderful character, an uncompromising servant of the law
      and believer in the rule of law who is all too aware of his own dark
      side, his own demons (and this being fantasy, both the darkness and
      the demons are literal). He discriminates among kinds of
      evildoing... This is the third book Sir Terry has written since he
      revealed to the world that he has Alzheimer's. He can no longer
      type, but – with the help of voice recognition software – he can
      certainly still write. For those who have kept up this book may be
      showing signs of flagging mental ability, but it's full of wit and
      passion and sheer inventiveness, and also wisdom..."


      Blogger Trib gives ISWM five out of five in a short review:

      "Though Pratchett originally wrote this subset of the Discworld
      novels for a younger audience, there's absolutely no reason they
      ought not be on the reading list of any Discworld fan. Nay, any
      fantasy fan. With the Tiffany Aching books, Pratchett has moved
      beyond the (very excellent, mind you) silliness and satire present
      in many of his earlier pieces to a more profound, gentle humor laced
      with more than a condiment level of humanity..."


      Blogger Hayatli17 reviews Thud!:

      "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. The
      best part of his Discworld series is that they don't need to be read
      in any order whatsoever. You can read any single one and it would
      make complete sense... Pratchett's charm never fails to shine
      through with all of his humour. He actually makes me chuckle aloud,
      and people do look at me like I'm weird, but I admit that it is rare
      for an author of a book, just through the power of words, to make
      force me to make an audible noise of happiness at reading their


      The Labyrinth Librarian is back with a longish "no worries" review
      of The Last Continent:

      "What you most need to know about Rincewind is that he absolutely
      does not want to be a hero. He craves a boring life, one in which
      the most he has to worry about is whether to have his potatoes
      baked, mashed, or deep fried. He does not want to be chased by mad
      highwaymen, put in prison for sheep theft, or required to completely
      change the climate of an entire continent. He doesn't want to time
      travel, be guided by strange, otherworldly kangaroos or fall in with
      a troupe of suspiciously masculine female performers. He just wants
      peace and quiet. The universe, of course, has other ideas. And so it
      is up to Rincewind to once again save the day... This book is, like
      so many other Discworld, books, a lot of fun to read... I love
      science and I love Discworld. While the actual Science of Discworld
      series was kind of dry and boring in the end, I love it when
      Pratchett explores real-world science through the eyes of his
      Discworld characters..."


      Blogger Joe Praba has fallen for Jingo:

      "Jingo was the first Terry Pratchett book that I read (arrived late
      to his books). It's been published for 12 years now, but although it
      was the 21st addition to the 'Discworld' list and 4th in the 'City
      Watch' series, I managed to get into the story with ease; and
      enjoyed it immensely. Pratchett is truly a fabulous fantasy story
      writer and his accolades and critical acclaim were well deserved I
      say. His humor added to his creativeness is among the best in the
      business – not to mention his clever simplicity and prose..."


      Blogger The Extravagant Platypus gives Equal Rites high marks on her
      rather adorable rating system:

      "I've always been fascinated with the way Pratchett brings pretty
      high level theoretical physics into fantasy books for the younger
      crowd. In this book, although vague, he manages to describe how the
      fabric of the universe can be delineated through numbers. Now, I'll
      admit that I have a rudimentary understanding of theoretical physics
      at best. I get the general basics of string and quantum theory, but
      that's really as far as it goes and if you asked me to explain it
      I'd probably mutter something about quantum states and then refer
      you to Richard Feynman. Pratchett, however, somehow manages to
      encapsulate these huge ideas within these fantastic worlds and every
      time I notice it I get this dopey smile on my face that would be
      weird if I lived someplace with a subway system. But that's not why
      these books are so amazing..."


      ...while Cheryl Mahoney, often glowing in her Discworld reviews, is
      a bit less impressed:

      "It took a few books for Pratchett to quite work out Discworld, and
      there seems to be universal agreement that the first couple are
      simply not as funny. It's true for the third one too – it's funny,
      but something's off. Timing, style, character... I can't put my
      finger on it, but it's just not AS funny. Don't get me wrong here
      – that still makes it one of the funniest books I've read this
      year. It pales only in comparison to the rest of the series..."


      ...but waxes lyrical about her favourite Discworld novels:

      "The biggest problem is where to begin, and that did put me off for
      a while until a friend finally handed me one and told me to start.
      I've read 18 since then (I think – I swear I counted my list five
      times and it kept coming out different, which is actually very
      appropriate for Discworld). I found out it doesn't really matter
      where you start, so if you enjoy humorous fantasy with a satirical
      bent, I highly recommend jumping in wherever you like... Maskerade
      is the first Discworld book I ever read, sort of. I did read it
      first, but I came at it solely as a Phantom of the Opera retelling,
      had no context to put it in, and haven't reread it (or enough of the
      books about the same characters) since reading others to really get
      it into my head as part of the larger whole. But technically it was
      the first, and still a favorite... There are eight books focused on
      Guard Captain Sam Vimes and his crew of more and less competent
      watchmen. Guards! Guards! is the first, if you want to start there.
      One of my favorites is Jingo, which satirizes the political
      jockeying around wars... My other favorite City Guard book is Thud!
      This one is about racial tension – and it's hysterically funny.
      No, really... Going Postal is actually my usual recommendation to
      people of where to start... The Truth is another good starting
      place, another fairly independent one..."


      The Extravagant Platypus continues with "4 ink bottles" (out of 5,
      we presume) for tCoM and The Light Fantastic:

      "With regards to the folklore contained in this story, I'm
      completely in love with the idea that Discworld is a giant sea
      turtle, slowly swimming through the universe, and that on his back
      Discworld is held up by four enormous elephants. As a version of the
      Iroquois creation myth, it added a bizarre sense of familiarity to a
      tale of magic and gods, though on some strange level this seems more
      realistically modern to me. Sure the Iroquois would have set the
      giant turtle in the ocean because that was the size of their world.
      They didn't know at the time that they were sitting on a lump of
      rock that's hurtling through space at a little under 70,000 mph
      (only accounting for orbital movement, if you throw in the movement
      of the solar system, it's 446,400 mph [numbers from here]).
      Pratchett's expansion of the myth to include the fact that we know
      we're hurtling through space brings the myth into the age of space
      shuttles, which is kind of awesome. He includes the theory of the
      multiverse (a personal favorite) making it actually possible that in
      some version of the universe there could be a flat world suspended
      above four elephants balanced upon a giant sea turtle IN REAL LIFE.
      (I really didn't start that paragraph expecting to end in a line
      about the multiverse, I promise.)..."


      "I was oddly thrilled to discover that Rincewind and Twoflower were
      still our leading characters and, I have to say, the addition of
      Cohen the Barbarian and Bethan was both welcome and highly
      entertaining... It kind of stuns me the way Pratchett can talk about
      huge big ticket items while keeping his books light and clever. In
      this book, he covers religious intolerance in a big way without
      bogging down the story. I mean, they basically have a witch hunt on
      the Disc (though in this case, they're hunting for wizards) and
      Pratchett does a marvelous job of subtly weaving in the impulsions
      that can drive a group of people to clamor for death without
      clouting me over the head with it. I don't know if he actually had
      Group Think or mob behavior on the mind, but he built it in and
      highlighted it in stark relief. Aside from the heavy stuff, which
      actually manages to feel light when you're reading it, Pratchett
      once again did a delightful job of crafting an entertaining tale..."


      Blogger Quorren's short review of Small Gods:

      "Pratchett's satire is at its peak. While it is the 13th book in
      the series, it can easily be read as a stand alone book... [Small
      Gods] has several parallels between the Old and New Testament God
      from Christianity. Om was the great and terrible back in his
      beginning, taking a more active role in the lives of his followers,
      smitings and such. When he gets transformed into a tortoise, he get
      in touch with the mortals once again, as his our mortality is
      threatened by the lack of faith in the Omnians. However, the focus
      of the book is really lampooning religion is general..."


      Blogger Ash falls for Moist von Lipwig's charms when reading Going

      "Moist von Lipwig is probably one of my most favorite characters
      after Hercule Poirot and Granny Weatherwax. Once he gets his rhythm
      going, there's no stopping him as he sets out to woo the crowds
      employing some of the oldest tricks in the history of marketing...
      As for the theme itself, there are several, first and foremost of
      which is the Post Office. It so reminds me of USPS ... perhaps Mr.
      Pratchett was alluding to the British Govt Post and the possible
      changes that the postal system may have undergone in the last few
      decades. Then there is reference to the telegrams and the mobile
      networks ... as described through the improvements to Clacks. And
      last but the most entertaining is the allusion to Organization and
      Change management... to make my experience of this wonderful book
      complete, I even got hold of the film adaptation..."


      Pratchett novice Bthereader reviews The Sea and Little Fishes:

      "I have not read Pratchett, but this book indicates his fantasy is
      more of an ironic satire of fantasy than a serious fantasy, and this
      story is likely a nice example. The characters are deep and real, a
      handful of witches attending the annual witching get-together and
      competition. Granny Weatherwax is apparently the most talented of
      them by far, and also a mean, driven, cold, intense mature woman...
      I'm glad fantasy has someone talented writing satire perhaps akin to
      Douglas Adam's works in the sci-fi realm..."


      ...and blogger Gary Bell reviews tCoM:

      "This novel is a break from my usual action/adventure books that I
      like to read, but after having heard so much about the series, I
      thought it would be crazy not to have a read of it... This is a
      clear fantasy book, and a one in which doesn't resemble the regular
      world. The book is a great escape for those wishing to indulge in a
      visit to a strange new world where nothing is quite what it seems.
      There are laughs aplenty, and confusion too, but in a world where
      the spectrum is made up of eight colours, and is set on a disc
      resting on the back of four elephants which, in turn, are riding on
      a turtle through space; how could there not be..."



      22) CLOSE

      And that's all for the moment, with more to come before the month is
      out. We'll be back soon with your monthly Discworld horoscope and
      any late breaking news. Here's to the 25th and especially to, well,
      truth, justice and reasonably priced love...

      – Annie Mac


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