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WOSSNAME -- October 2012 -- Late breaking news and Horoscope

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  • WOSSNAME-owner@yahoogroups.com
    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion October 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 10, Post 2) ******************************************** 01) EDITOR S NOTE
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 2012
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      October 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 10, Post 2)

      01) EDITOR'S NOTE
      05) CLOSE



      Plenty of late breaking news this month! And the latest of all, in
      eleventh hour sense, is for Fourecksian Discworld board-gamers in
      the Melbourne area: the final Ankh-Morpork Tournament at Good Games
      will be held on Sunday 28th October:

      Good Games
      3/66-70 Railway Rd, Blackburn, VIC.
      (03) 9877 8136

      For more info, go to:


      Now, on to the news. And to the horoscope, as Fernando is finally
      back in the star-gazing saddle again!

      – Annie Mac, Editor




      "Dear Reader: Science of Discworld IV is being lovingly crafted
      right now just for you. Be excited. We are."



      For those of you who don't yet have your hands on a copy of A Blink
      of the Screen, you can read an extract online. It's the short story
      known as Theatre of Cruelty. Yes, I know that one was also included
      in that rare and famous earlier collection, Once More* With
      Footnotes, but not many people have that, so here be the link:



      "The Natural History Museum and the team behind BBC Radio 4's
      cerebral comedy panel show, The Museum of Curiosity, have joined
      forces to bring you an evening of razor sharp wit, fascinating facts
      and virtual burglary.

      "Relax in the beautiful surroundings of the Central Hall as our
      illustrious panellists plunder the nation's treasure house of
      natural history for their own infinitely curious museum."

      Speakers include:
      - John Lloyd
      - Terry Pratchett
      - Alan West, First Sea Lord
      - Erica McAlister
      - Richard Fortey
      - Dave Gorman

      "More to be announced soon. Watch this space."

      When: 9th November 2012
      Venue: Central Hall, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London
      SW7 5BD
      Time: 19:30 - 22:00 (doors open at 19.00)
      Tickets: £35, Members £31.50
      Booking is required. To book online, go to:


      To view the announcement and for more info:



      For UK readers of SFX Magazine (the "dead tree" version, that is):
      W.H. Smith in conjunction with SFX is offering a special discount
      price on A Blink of the Screen for the next two and a bit weeks!

      "Every issue, SFX teams up with WH Smith to offer you a special
      discount on a key new SF/fantasy book. And this month we've got
      offers on two titles... To get your discount, simply cut out the
      relevant voucher in SFX issue 228 (you'll find them in the book
      reviews section) and present it in your local high street WH Smith.
      Sorry, printouts or photocopies will not be accepted... The RRP is
      £20, but you can get it for £10."

      The voucher for A Blink Of The Screen is valid from 17th October to
      13th November 2012.



      In The Telegraph, an authorised extract from A.S. Byatt's
      introduction to A Blink of the Screen. Here be extracts from the

      "Terry Pratchett says his readers are people who work with
      computers. But my literary friends are often addicted as I am – I
      once had a very polite tug-of-war over a new book (I think it was
      Thief of Time) with my scholarly and brilliant editor in a bookshop
      where I was giving a reading. Last week, I had a good talk with a
      philosopher at a high table about imaginary worlds in general and
      Pratchett in particular... people who don't read, read Pratchett.
      Boys of 12 who hate books. I hope he is never taught in schools –
      his biography on the back of the books used once to claim that 'some
      people had accused him of literature', and of course he is
      literature, but best enjoyed in solitude and retreat. J R R
      Tolkien used the term 'secondary worlds' to describe fictive,
      invented worlds with their own creatures, geography, history,

      "Pratchett's world is wonderful because he has the energy of the
      great storyteller: you think you know all it is possible to know
      about a dragon, or a policeman, or a plot or a landscape, and he
      tells you more, a lot more than you had any right to expect, and
      this is exhilarating. From book to book he gets better and his world
      gets more intricate. He gets more and more attached to his own
      characters, who become more complicated – consider the way in
      which Captain Vimes grows from being a drunk in charge of a
      dysfunctional Night Watch to a commander who arrests two armies for
      a breach of the peace...

      "Pratchett, despite the slapstick, the terrible jokes and the very
      clever complicated jokes, is somehow wise and grown up. As a reader
      I trust him. I was once asked by a television interviewer, 'Isn't
      all this simply really about us?' and I indignantly replied, 'No',
      because I needed my secondary world to be other, separate and
      coherent. But he is, of course, writing about us..."

      To read the *entire* extract, go to:



      "The most inspirational thing about Terry Pratchett today, now 64,
      the planet's most passionate proponent of legally assisted dying, is
      that he's far more interested in talking about life than he is about
      death, and in telling a funny story, determined to make you laugh.
      'My short-term memory is not very good,' he'll explain,
      contemplating his condition today. 'On the other hand, my short-term
      memory is not very good... I was waiting for you to laugh!' You soon
      realise that it's you, in fact, who's considerably more preoccupied
      with the assumed deterioration of Pratchett's mind than he is...

      "In 2012, Pratchett's imagination remains as robust as his
      personality – 'My creative self seems to be alive and well; I'm
      still me'. Dodger, his latest novel for young adults, a lively tale
      of a sewer scavenger in Dickensian London, sees Pratchett's
      gloriously vivid language undiminished even as he notates his words
      to voice-recognition technology...

      "Pratchett remains a conversational riot, if impossible to
      interrupt: any attempt to interject into his infinite anecdotes is
      met with a highly mischievous 'Shut up and let me finish my story!'
      Sometimes, when memory fails him, he's sure it's merely 'being in my
      60s', as perhaps is his habit of recalling his colourful past:
      stories about his parents, who he adored (his mechanic dad was
      'stoic', his formidably bright, book-encouraging mum could 'see
      through rocks'), about being 'a disruptive force' at school in High
      Wycombe, a cosmology-obsessed teenager forever bringing in Private
      Eye and Mad magazine 'even though Harry (the headmaster) was
      determined to keep the '60s out of High Wycombe'..."

      To read the full text of the interview, go to:



      In The Guardian, by Marcus Sedgwick:

      "Though the plot of the novel is relatively simple, there is as much
      pleasure in seeing Dodger charm, sneak and sometimes bash his way in
      and out of a series of dark and dangerous encounters as he seeks to
      protect Simplicity, as there is in reading Pratchett's prose. Here,
      once again, is the mark of a great writer; that we are captivated by
      ingenious word-building on every page... Pratchett's game-playing
      abounds; he introduces Sweeney Todd to the story, gleefully paying
      no heed to the twin facts that the Demon Barber is not only
      fictional but hadn't even been written at the time. There are some
      lovely jokes surrounding Dickens. When Dodger worries that
      Simplicity will be shut up in some bleak house, we can almost see
      Mister Charlie snatch his notebook from his pocket and fumble for a
      pencil, with that faraway look writers get once in a while. And then
      there's the name of Solomon's dog. At this point, your open-mouthed
      reviewer found himself thinking, no, he can't have called it that
      – surely the editor would have taken it out. Perhaps it only
      survived redrafts through naivety in the editorial department, and
      yet, upon my word, here's the author in the closing pages inviting
      us to google what Onan means..."



      Emily Whitten's New York Pterry live gigs report:

      "While he was at NYCC, for me the high was not his NYCC appearance
      (we'll get to that in a second!) but his appearance at the Barnes &
      Noble in nearby Union Square. Despite a pretty full house, the store
      was so quiet you could hear a pin drop (or Terry and his business
      manager Rob bantering with each other on stage) as everyone listened
      to an excerpt from the book and a fun Q&A... Other information
      shared with the crowd is that Terry fully intends that there be a
      sequel to Dodger; that he has been working on the second Long Earth
      book with co-author Stephen Baxter; and that (as some may have heard
      already) he has formed a production company with business manager
      Rob Wilkins, Managing Director and producer Rod Brown, and daughter
      and fellow writer Rhianna Pratchett. Upcoming projects include The
      Watch series (a 13 episode series described in a nutshell as 'CSI:
      Ankh-Morpork') and the Good Omens miniseries, along with more
      upcoming Discworld adaptations. Yay!

      "The placement of Terry Pratchett's NYCC panel. Don't get me wrong
      – Terry and Rob were as entertaining as always, and I was
      delighted to see them. But for the first time in my experience, NYCC
      committed a major error in planning when they stuck the best-selling
      adult fiction author in the UK in a giant echo-y hallway next to a
      music stage (which started playing loud music half-way through) for
      his event. I can't even imagine what they were thinking, and can
      only assume it was done in complete ignorance by someone who has
      mysteriously never heard of Terry and couldn't be bothered to look
      up whether his panel was likely to be popular or anything else about
      him. Even if they didn't realize that Terry's Alzheimer's
      necessitates that he have a lavaliere microphone rather than a hand-
      held, or that he often speaks rather softly and so a loud hall is
      not the best venue for him, such placement is unforgiveable, and I
      hope NYCC never makes such an asinine mistake again..."



      From Tower Players' production of Wyrd Sisters at Rugeley Rose
      Theatre, a very acceptable Granny, Nanny and Magrat:


      A Sir and his hats, in a photoshoot for that Big Issue interview:

      "I cheekily asked if I could tag along with Sir Terry and his PA
      whilst out hat shopping. To my absolute delight they agreed and we
      were led to Bates hat store on Jermyn Street which is a regular
      haunt for them. The manager and staff were very hospitable (for
      which I am very grateful) and provided us with plenty of different
      headgear to try on throughout the shoot. After stating that his only
      stipulation was for the hat to be black, midway through Terry asked
      if he could make a suggestion to wear the most inappropriate hat in
      the store..."


      Photos from Pterry's "Dodger USA tour" (check the right-hand side of
      the page, too, for links to other events of the tour, e.g. New York
      Comic Con and Pfeiffer Hall!):


      Absolutely awesome cosplay effort from Death of Rats fan Morgana


      ...and a marvellous Lancre Witches jack-o-lantern carved by Caitlin
      Hosking of Fourecks:




      by Fernando Magnifico

      Buongiorno my friends, it is I, Fernando Magnifico, writing to you
      from his home in Brindisi, the most magnificent nation on the Disc
      (although Ankh-Morpork comes a very close second, you must
      understand that she is not Brindisi!). My friends, Fernando has the
      sad news, but also the most excellente news: the beautiful Lady
      Anaemia Asterisk is not available to write the horoscopes this
      month, because of badgers in her pergola, but the good news is that
      Fernando's luggage has finally been found and returned to him, and
      although some of Fernando's unmentionables are mysteriously missing,
      his astrological instruments and star charts are in the perfect
      working order! My friends, try to contain your excitement, for
      Fernando is at last able to write his most magnificent horoscopes

      Fernando is the much grateful to Miss Diamante Mousselet of the
      Cochon Volant Coach Company in Genua for her most excellente work at
      tracking down Fernando's luggage, in Ushistan. My friends, you can
      trust Fernando on this, for he will be sure to show his proper
      appreciation to the lovely Miss Mousselet when he returns to Genua.

      My friends, you are probably desperate to find out what has happened
      with the great and terrible sauce crisis. If only you could have
      seen the tears and the shouting and the recrimination. It was almost
      as bad as the lasagna incident! My friends, Fernando may have
      mentioned once or twice that he is a man of peace who prefers to
      make the love, not the war, but there comes a time when a man has to
      bang a few heads together, and Uncle Enzo and Uncle Alfonzo will
      think twice about hitting Fernando with the chair again! My friends,
      respect for one's elders is all very well, but sometimes you need
      the "tough love" as they say. Auntie Maria can have her broom back
      when she apologises to Nonigienico the fishmonger, who didn't
      deserve what she did no matter how much the fish he gave her
      reminded her of Aunt Malvasia. Who, Fernando is pleased to say, has
      admitted that perhaps the reason the sauce was so thick is because
      she put the too much grated Parmesan cheese on her plate. So
      Fernando is very pleased to say that once Nonigienico can sit down
      again things should be back to normal and he can return to Ankh-

      Fernando has had the many clacks messages from his magnificent
      readers (although not as magnificent as Fernando, of course, for
      there is only one Fernando). My friends, Fernando will reply to each
      and every one of you personally (although some of your requests are
      perhaps the physically impossible), but this month Fernando has
      received this clacks asking:

      "hi fenado luv ur horascps when wil u rit them again? i hav rash on
      left elbo wot shuld i do luv ur bigst fan – signed, Kvn14"

      Dear Mister 14, listen carefully to Fernando for he knows that this
      is so. Fernando is not the doctor, but he has consulted the stars,
      and so he has the molto better chance of the right diagnosis of your
      illness! The stars say that you have caught a walrus, and will be
      "right as rain" as they say in Morporkian after a couple of days bed
      rest with a glass of whatever takes your fancy. It might not cure
      you, but it will make you feel better until the walrus gets bored
      and wanders off on its own.

      So my friends, for those of Fernando's devoted fans who have caught
      a walrus, this month Fernando has consulted the stars to determine
      which is the disease you are most likely to catch this month.

      Ciao bella!


      The Currant Bun (formerly The Adamant Hedgehog) 21 Mar – 20 Apr

      Bunnies, your disease of the month is Rhinopositus, the compulsion
      to stick your nose in other people's business at the least excuse.
      Highly contagious, it is especially spread by particles of
      inspiration whenever somebody says aloud "won't somebody think of
      the children?". My friends, unfortunately there is no cure, although
      the good news is that on rare occasions sufferers have been known to
      undergo the spontaneous remission, and on the even rarer occasions,
      former sufferers develop the opposite condition of Agabbia, which is
      a morbid fear of spreading or even listening to gossip and idle
      chit-chat. My friends, if you ever find yourself saying "There
      oughta be a law" in response to somebody doing something harmless
      and innocuous, you might just be a carrier.


      The Half-Eaten Sandwich 21 Apr – 21 May

      Sandies, your disease of the month is Sammy's Foot, the foot trouble
      caused by walking on cobblestones and pavements incorrectly, or in
      the wrong footwear. Frequently experienced by the Watch and Ladies
      of Negotiable Affection. The only treatment is a change of shoes, or
      in extreme cases, to stop walking and be carried everywhere. Perhaps
      many of the great barbarian chieftains who were carried on their
      shields were suffering from Sammy's Foot? My friends, let Fernando
      tell you something ironic: His Grace Sam Vimes is one of the few
      Sammies who has never suffered from Sammy's Foot.


      The Knotted String (formerly Herne the Hunted) 22 May – 21 Jun

      Knotties, your disease of the month is Candiditis, the compulsion to
      tell unpleasant truths such as "Yes, your bottom does look big in
      that", or to tell one's deepest secrets to strangers. My friends,
      Fernando has the much scruples and always tells the truth, except
      perhaps when the little white lie is the better for everyone, for
      sometimes people cannot handle the truth without the coating of the
      sugar, as they say in the charming Morporkian vernacular. The
      symptoms of Candiditis often first appear at important merchants'
      conventions, where sufferers will find themselves offered the famous
      treatment known as the "cold shoulder", or at large family
      gatherings such as weddings, where sufferers will find themselves
      offered the famous treatment known as the "punch in the mouth". Wise
      sufferers will cure themselves after as few treatments as possible,
      or when no cure is the coming forth, take up the new career as a


      The Wizard's Staff and Knob 22 Jun – 22 Jul

      Staffies, your disease of the month is Witchy Scalp, a most
      uncomfortable skin condition frequently found among witches who
      don't get enough air circulating on their heads due to a refusal to
      take their hats off. It also affects wizards who are overly attached
      to their pointy hats, and people who wear too-tight bowlers. It will
      usually clear up on its own if you take the hat off, but for those
      who won't or can't, let Fernando pass on the most excellente cure he
      learned from an old woman in Sto Lat many years ago. Rub the
      affected area with a paste made from three parts sheep dip, two
      parts coal ash, the white of a duck egg (under no circumstances
      substitute the egg of the chicken unless you want to attract
      gnats!), a dash of Wow-Wow Sauce, and a pinch of plaster dust from a
      house where red-headed twins live. Cover with the leaves of a
      cabbage, Micklegreens Juicy for preference but Scentless Mute will
      do in a pinch, for three days or until your hair falls out. Avoid
      naked flames, rain, stone fruits and flying camels, and you will
      surely be cured. Or if not, since Witchy Scalp is made worse by hot
      conditions, replace your hat with a fez, because fezzes are cool.
      Fernando knows this is true!


      Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul – 23 Aug

      Bilians, your disease of the month is Lime Disease. Lime Disease can
      be contracted by contact with lime trees, or on occasion other
      citrus fruits, in areas with the unusually high level of background
      magic such as the Forest of Skund or Empirical Crescent. The
      symptoms are the sour bellyache, and the sprouting of limes from
      your nose, ears and other more personal body orifices. But do not be
      afeared my friends, for Lime Disease is easily treatable with the
      help of the Brown Islands coconut which is imported in most places
      these days. You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up, and
      call the doctor in the morning. A good-sized dash or three of rum
      may help, trust Fernando on this for he knows it is so.


      My Uncle's Nose 24 Aug – 23 Sept

      Nosers, your disease of the month is Punter's Crash, the emotional
      crash and physical symptoms that occur when you realise that for the
      sixth time in a row the horse you bet on has come fourth. It is
      especially prevalent in the days just before the rent is due.
      Married sufferers often find that Punter's Crash is accompanied by a
      companion disease that affects their spouse, leading to lots of
      shouting and the occasional frying pan being thrown across the room.
      Some people are naturally immune – in the charming Morporkian
      vernacular which Fernando is so fond of, they are known as "toffs"
      and "rich buggers". For the rest of us, let Fernando pass on the
      secret cure told to him by his Uncle Miguel who has been known to
      get this from time to time: the only sure cure for Punter's Crash is
      to have the whispered words straight from the horse's mouth.


      The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars 24 Sept – 23 Oct

      Boring'uns, your disease of the month is Wanabi Syndrome, a mental
      disturbance causing the sufferer to seek fame at any price. My
      friends, nobody knows what causes Wanabi Syndrome, but from time to
      time a shy, retiring Boring'un who was perfectly content staying
      home in the evenings washing socks will suddenly dress in the most
      scandalous clothes that would shock even Fernando (and Fernando is
      the molto open-minded about the clothing), buy the biggest hat they
      can find, and publicly propose marriage to a famous opera singer or
      music hall performer. In other cases the urge to be famous is such
      that they will challenge the Patrician to a duel, attempt to punch
      out Captain Carrot, or try to duplicate some of BS Johnson's more
      infamous works. Sadly my friends, the stars tell Fernando that there
      is no cure for Wanabi Syndrome, and most sufferers will just have to
      be content with being talked about down the pub by their friends and


      Androgyna Majestis 24 Oct – 22 Nov

      Andies, your disease of the month is Bella's Complaint, a
      psychological problem where the sufferer develops an obsession for
      creepy, over-protective, dangerous "bad" boys or girls, especially
      the sparkly ones who creep into the boudoirs to watch the sufferer
      sleeping. Bella's Complaint is a most worrisome affliction, worse
      than Dark Lady Syndrome (where sufferers develop an obsession for
      wearing the trailing-sleeved black lace gowns and the far too much
      mascara). In the most severe cases, the sufferer craves marriage to
      the sparkly creep and takes up inventing truly embarrassing baby
      names. Bella's Complaint is best treated with the wooden stakes and
      lots of garlic. Or as an alternative, Fernando recommends eating the
      extra-large double garlic pizza before bedtime.


      The Spoons, a.k.a. the Greater and Lesser Spoons, 23 Nov – 21 Dec

      Spooners, your disease this month is Hooping Cough, a disorder
      mostly of women caused by working the long hours on embroidery in
      the cold draughty castles. My friends, do not confuse this with
      Hopping cough (a disease that only affects frog princes), Hoping
      cough (affects only ageing unmarried bridesmaids, is brought on by
      the loud ticking of their biological clocks), or Hyping cough
      (affects auctioneers, used cart salesmen, and purveyors of sausages
      inna bun). Hooping Cough is best treated by putting aside your
      embroidery, putting on steel armour (spikes are optional but
      recommended), picking the largest battle-axe you can swing, and
      having a few rather loud words about female emancipation to the
      King. My friend, Fernando is in favour of the emancipation of
      females, especially of those in the steel breastplates who are
      carrying the big battle-axes.


      Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec – 20 Jan

      Hokians, your disease of the month is the Uncommon Cold, which is
      caused by a type of invisibly small biting imp that flies out your
      nose when you sneeze. To prevent spreading the imps from person to
      person, it is best to always sneeze into a cloth handkerchief, or if
      you do not have one handy, into your sleeve. The uncommon cold is
      best treated with a healthy drink made mostly of herbs and fruit,
      and can be best avoided by staying at home away from everyone else,
      wrapped up in a nice warm blanket, with a parrot on your head to
      frighten away the imps.


      The Big Chicken 21 Jan – 18 Feb

      Squawkers, your disease of the month is Kidney Scones, a very
      painful disease caused by eating the bread products without chewing
      every mouthful 100 times. Or at least this is what Fernando's Great
      Aunt Granita has told him. My friends, please forgive Fernando for
      being the indelicate, for are we not all adults here? (Except for
      Kevin, and don't think that Fernando is not aware that you have been
      writing those letters to Fernando's editor trying to get Fernando's
      job.) Those with Kidney Scones often find it is the very painful to
      pass the water, even under a bridge. Fortunately Kidney Scones are
      easily cured with lashings of tea, strawberry jam and cream.


      Hyperopia's Buckle (formerly Lesser Umbrage) 19 Feb – 20 Mar

      Bucklers, your disease of the month is Wee Jock Itch, the
      infestation of Feegles in one's underwear. Do not be the shamed my
      friends, for most people suffer from the embarrassment and
      inconvenience of Wee Jock Itch at some time during their life. It is
      usually caused by spilling Special Sheep Liniment or scumble down
      your trousers, which is unpleasant enough, but if this ever happens
      to you my friends be sure to rip your trousers off before the fumes
      knock you out. For if you don't, and it soaks through to your
      underwear, you too may attract Feegles. If this ever happens to you,
      listen very carefully to Fernando's most excellente advice: pour the
      largest glass of whiskey or brandy you can and leave it out in a
      quiet corner of the room. The Feegles will soon abandon your
      underwear for the glass. While they are gone, dispose of your
      infested underwear by setting it on fire. But be quick, for Feegles
      are notoriously fast drinkers! And do not forget to take your
      underwear off first before setting it alight. Trust Fernando on
      this, for he knows that this part is the molto importante.



      Blogger and author Marion George Harmon's long, thoughtful review of
      The Long Earth:

      "How many times has our conceptual paradigm been shifted? When we
      moved the Sun to the center of our universe. When we realized how
      big our universe was and how far from its center we were. When
      scientists figured out a theory of life that didn't require God. Our
      technological paradigms have shifted more often; electricity,
      vaccines, combustion engines, antibiotics, wire and then wireless
      communication, flight, x-rays and organ transplants, computers,
      etc., have all changed our worlds. Conceptual paradigm shifts are
      sudden, but take years or decades to work through the permutations;
      in a free market, technology shifts are often much faster, and
      seriously change the way we live... So what does this have to do
      with The Long Earth? The point is that serious science fiction,
      unlike sci-fi adventure or sci-fi fantasy, asks the Big Questions.
      How will discoveries change us? What would easy space travel mean?
      What would immortality mean? What would an economy driven by
      material fabrication and robot-labor mean? What if we really met
      E.T.? In The Long Earth, Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter posit a
      paradigm-shifting invention, a 'stepper.' Easy for anyone to make
      (you can do it with Radio Shack components and a potato), the
      stepper allows you to step into the endless chain of parallel worlds
      to the right and left of our reality. And other than some illusive
      and mysterious world-stepping hominids, these worlds are empty–at
      least of intelligent life. So, if we had access to steppers, if each
      step took us to a new world, each new world one step different than
      ours, what could we do? What would we do?..."


      Blogger old_fat_and_hairy, on the Army Rumour Service site, reviews

      "Terry Pratchett is one of my favourite authors; I have a reverence
      for his men of the City Watch and a deep and abiding love for the
      witches of the Ramtops, but this book is different to any other of
      his that I have read. And, I have to say, as good too. There are
      flashes of the old master there, in some of the asides and
      mutterings, but in general it is quite different to his Discworld
      books, although, having said that, Victorian London is much like
      AnkhMorpork in many ways. The book is funny, thrilling and oddly


      Blogger Ana reviews Dodger on book discussion site Things Mean a

      "Pratchett does a wonderful job of bringing the underbelly of
      Victorian London to life in this novel. Dodger is full of
      interesting historical details, and it features appearances by
      several notorious Victorians. In addition to Charles Dickens and
      Henry Mayhew, there's Sweeney Todd, Disraeli, Robert Peel, Ada
      Lovelace, and Angela Burdett-Coutts. Some have very brief cameos,
      but others play important roles in the story; I was particularly
      impressed by the way Pratchett managed to make these appearances
      seem organic rather than forced. There are also several nods to
      Dickens' fiction: I caught some references to Great Expectations,
      and I bet I'd have picked up on more if not for my appalling Dickens
      ignorance (I know, I know – I've been saying for years that I'm
      going to do something about that). The more you know about Dickens,
      the more you're likely to get out of the intertextuality in

      "The thing that interested me the most in Dodger was its engagement
      with themes such as ethics and social exclusion. Dodger inhabits a
      world of petty criminals; a world full of people who were pushed to
      the very edges of society. These are people who are frequently
      dehumanised, but Pratchett portrays them with empathy and insight...
      If you're familiar with Terry Pratchett's City Watch books, you
      won't at all be surprised by the political undercurrents in


      Blogger Brianna discovers to her delight that when it comes to I
      Shall Wear Midnight, you can't judge a book by its cover:

      "If this cover didn't say 'Terry Pratchett' on it I would not have
      given it a second glance in a bookstore or library. This is the case
      with most fantasy covers that I see... My husband read Wee Free Men,
      as well as several of the Discworld books about witches, and has
      been telling me for ages that I would enjoy the feminist themes that
      emerge in those stories. My favorite Discworld plots were in the
      City Watch and Moist von Lipwig lines, so I never bothered to pick
      up the others. I am so glad that I finally did, because Tiffany
      Aching (the central character of this book) is one of the most
      Slatebreaking characters Terry Pratchett has created yet... Tiffany
      is simply brilliant as a female character. She's smart and
      confident, but she has her moments of self-doubt, just like anyone
      would when faced with such great responsibility. She often feels
      like she's the only person in The Chalk who sees any sense at all in
      a situation. She also has such wonderful intuition. Throughout my
      reading, I desperately wished that I could have been more like
      Tiffany when I was sixteen. She is exactly the kind of YA heroine
      that I search for in the stacks of books I read each year..."


      Blogger Lakshanisuranga offers a short, loving review of Nation:

      "I personally cried through the whole book, not essentially because
      it was sad all the time, but because it has the ability to bring out
      happiness and sadness in tears. At the heart of the book is the
      concept- 'The world is a globe-the farther you sail, closer to home
      you are.' It also examines roots and religious beliefs, taking a
      closer look at human understanding of their nature and self in the
      face of desperate situations. In my opinion it is Pratchett's best
      work. The complicated and odd characters in the book, including Mau
      and Daphne have so much to contribute to its unique brilliance..."


      Blogger Ash gives three short reviews of Folklore Of Discworld,
      Jingo, and Maskerade:

      Folklore of Discworld... is very informative as it traces Terry
      Pratchett's thoughts and his sources for inspiration. Worthwhile to
      have it in your library if you are a fan of Discworld series and
      intend to continue on...

      Jingo... worthy to note that this book explores politics and its
      effect on the law enforcers and general public but the tone adopted
      is of a lighter vein to help the readers enjoy the story while
      reading about such issues.

      Maskerade... Probably this is one book where the limelight is split
      between the Witches and the Watch and perhaps not so much on Agnes
      Nitt. Its an enjoyable light read."


      Blogger Nicktropolis gives Maskerade a qualified but high

      "If I'm honest, aside from a few particularly outstanding examples
      (Night Watch, The Thief of Time and The Truth), and a few that are
      actually quite bad (Sourcery, Eric, The Last Continent
      (Coincidentally, all of which star Rincewind)), once you've written
      about one Discworld book, you've written about all of them. This is
      far from a bad thing, just that there's only so many times you can
      really say 'Brilliant characterisation, witty prose and a wonderful
      narrative' without it sounding repetitive. Maskerade is fairly
      standard fare for the Witches, and Granny Weatherwax is a wonderful
      as ever, but there's just something missing without Magrat there.
      It's essentially a parody of Phantom of the Opera, which I might
      have appreciated more if I was more familiar with that. As it stands
      though, the book is still enjoyable..."


      Discworld newbie coffee2words gets to grips with tCoM:

      "At first, I was less than pleased. It is a lot to take in, with all
      the different words for things and the slightly odd way the
      characters talk. This probably continued until the second little
      story in this. That one just seemed to make everything click and it
      all started to make sense... By the end of the book, the sheer size
      of this world and the vast and illogical order to it started to make
      more sense and even had me guessing what would happen next. Terry's
      writing style will not be for everyone, the humor neither, but if
      you do pick this book up, give it until the third part before you
      make up your mind"


      Blogger and librarian windowseatreviews gives Dodger a thumbs-up:

      The book's greatest strength lies in the character of Dodger... I
      loved the little nods to Dickens' works. The author does make a
      point of the fact that Dodger is a historical fantasy; he takes some
      liberties with timelines, but the conditions of the poor are
      described vividly and accurately (though Dodger's life is probably
      more glamorous and easier than the average tosher's would've
      been)... I really enjoyed the ending, as Dodger uses the 'fog' that
      obscures people's perceptions of how events actually happen to his


      Blogger droberts1 is very happy with a pinch of Snuff:

      "In Snuff the Commander is forced to go on vacation to his wife's
      country estate by both his wife and Lord Vetinari, where he is more
      than a little out of place among both the upper and lower crust...
      Of course there's a crime, and then another, and they just keep
      piling up while Vimes attempts to spend some quality time with his
      wife and son, a young man with a unusual interest in poo. Add some
      gnomes, and the question of what exactly makes a being sentient and
      things get very complicated. As always Pratchett's unique style of
      wit keeps the reader on their toes..."


      ...and gives 5/5 to Making Money:

      "This time Pratchett takes on the banking industry and the illusion
      money creates... As always Pratchett keeps the reader on their toes,
      nothing is as it appears and, much like the real banking system, not
      all of it makes sense..."


      ...and gave 4/5 for Thud!, but only for printing errors rather than
      any weakness in the content:

      "As always politics, culture, drugs, alcohol, a game and murder mix
      in ways that drive the Commander, well you have to read the book.
      Pratchett once again succeeds in pulling it all together for a very
      satisfying conclusion. Who knew the power of a child's book? War,
      politics and cultural diversity all take a beating in this wonderful
      book. My only complaint is that the copy I have was not edited well.
      There are spelling errors and some pages still had editing


      Blogger Faith Mudge, usually a fantasy fan, was blown away by The
      Long Earth:

      "The master of compassionate cynicism, Pratchett's touch is evident
      in The Long Earth, from the omnipresent Tibetan robot Lobsang to the
      long-suffering police attempting to maintain law and order in
      unexpectedly extended jurisdictions. I'm unfamiliar with Stephen
      Baxter's other work – something I do intend to rectify – but his
      style has meshed seamlessly with Pratchett's, creating a consistent
      tone throughout. Towards the end the story slowed down with a
      puzzling denouement, then picked up speed again in an astonishing
      ending that practically demands a second book. 'Stepping' is an
      extraordinary idea that is expertly explored, with potential that is
      as endless as the Long Earth itself..."


      Self-confessed geek blogger reviewsadstuff gives G!G! ten out of

      "One of the most important characters in a Pratchett book is often
      the general population. In Guards! Guards!, as always, the
      population of Ankh Morpork is captured perfectly. Pratchett is great
      at capturing the stupidity of the general population, especially
      when they act as a crowd. What else could explain them actually
      buying things from CMOT Dibbler?!... Pratchett's books are generally
      not about the story anyway, they are about his wit and humour. There
      are few jokes that work out of context, so you cannot really explain
      it easily to those who do not read them. Some lines do stand out


      Blogger judysp gives a short, approving review of Jingo:

      "This book is not as funny as most of Pratchett's books, though
      there are some funny moments like Corporal Nobbs in his harem
      outfit, while exploring his feminine side... This book is
      Pratchett's quirky look and indictment on war, mob rule, politics,
      nationalism, diplomacy, and land disputes. As usual Pratchett's
      books are an enjoyable read. I love all his characters, and the more
      you read about their adventures in the various books, the more you
      come to like them..."


      Blogger novelink gives us a Pratchett paean in blank verse:

      I first met you when the pied piper, the rats, and a cat
      Were in on that scam. The only time I've seen a rat king
      Eight tails, eight feral bodies melded together, one mind.
      My favorite things are words like yours that tumble around
      Fall off the page and imbed themselves in everything
      Adding weight that changes the tilt of my world.
      Maybe even the whole planet's. I won't forget.
      A mind like yours slips away not everyday.
      I won't forget what you said.
      For as long as I am,
      I am
      Your fan.


      Blogger Christopher Ndife is delighted to have discovered the

      "Now, not only are his novels are as excellent as they are popular,
      but apparently Terry Pratchett himself is just the fanciest, most
      awesome person ever. Seriously, look at him! Not only is he a very
      dapper gent, but a knight as well. In fact, his personal coat of
      arms happens to be the coat of arms for the city of Ankh-Morpork, a
      central city in the Discworld series. Now this is enough to make any
      body awesome, but no. This isn't enough for Terry Pratchett. He then
      goes and forges his own sword with a CHUNK OF METEOR IRON AT ITS
      CORE. This feat of awesome shoots him to the top of the "I do what
      I want!" ladder and nestles him high atop the list of my personal
      heroes. Suffice to say that I will not only be reading many more
      Discworld novels, but Terry Pratchett's other works as well..."


      Blogger, playwright and novelist Elizabeth Hawksley is in love with

      "I loved this book. Pratchett writes brilliantly. It's a tale full
      of surprises: there are nods to various Dickens novels (Dodger
      himself surely has an 'Artful' cousin), Mayhew's London Life,
      Bazalgette's dream of a new sewerage system, the astute millionaire
      Miss Burdett-Coutts, Benjamin Disraeli, shopping in Savile row, the
      notorious (if fictional) Sweeney Todd, and scores of other
      contemporary references. There is a philosophical element, too,
      which gives the book added depth, as Dodger works out what sort of
      man he wants to become. I have an MA in Victorian Studies and all
      this, together with the lively Victorian low-life slang, hugely
      increased my enjoyment. The story is a cracker. I was hooked,
      frantically turning over the pages to see what was going to happen
      next, every now and then shrieking with laughter. It's glorious
      mixture of inventiveness, fun and slightly massaged history. It
      illuminates London's Victorian underworld brilliantly..."


      Blogger farshiftnovel, who just might be the real Twoflower, offers
      an excellent how-to blog about building The Luggage, complete with
      diagrams, iconographs, and, well, all the rest:

      "In construction of The Luggage, every effort was made to adhere to
      the descriptions given in the books as well it's interpretation in
      the Skyone television series 'The Colour of Magic/The Light
      Fantastic.' Some things however, were completely impossible to do
      technically or simply illegal, such as jumping up and down,
      swallowing people whole, and interdimensional transit..."


      ...and blogger Evan Mandery is well pleased with Dodger:

      "Pratchett brings the atmosphere of his London to life, conveying
      not just the difficulties faced by his characters through poverty,
      but also the ways they might survive (or not – his portrayal of
      Sweeney Todd as a damaged individual is especially vivid). The plot
      of Dodger doesn't quite succeed: the antagonists remain too shadowy
      to have a full dramatic impact. But running through the novel are
      themes of pragmatism and appearances being deceptive, and here
      Dodger shines..."



      05) CLOSE

      And that's it from us for October. Happy Hogswatch to all of you who
      celebrate it early, Happy Halloween to all Roundworlders, Happy
      Birthday to your Editor who entered the proceedings on the last day
      of October many long years ago, and Happy Everything Else to
      everyone else in the multiverse. See you next month!

      – Annie Mac


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