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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion December 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 12, Post 1)
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 17, 2012
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      WOSSNAME
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      December 2012 (Volume 15, Issue 12, 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
      time)
      Copyright 2012 by Klatchian Foreign Legion

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      INDEX:

      01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
      02) LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
      03) WOSSNAME REVIEWS: A BLINK OF THE SCREEN; THE COMPLEAT ANKH-
      MORPORK
      04) PRAISE FOR THE LONG EARTH
      05) "THE DUEL" PROGRESSES
      06) WINCANTON'S HOGSWATCH AND TWINNING CELEBRATIONS
      07) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
      08) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT
      09) THE THINGS PRATCHETT FANS SAY...
      10) REVIEW: DODGER
      11) REVIEW: A BLINK OF THE SCREEN
      12) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS
      13) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS
      14) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
      15) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
      16) CLOSE

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

      "Our fondest memory will always remain eating astronomers chilli
      with Patrick Moore & @DrBrianMay at 3am during a Perseid shower. A
      legend."

      – Terry Pratchett


      "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."

      – A.S. Byatt

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      02) A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

      Here we are in the final days of 2013, a year some of probably
      thought we'd never see – and a year that Sir Terry Pratchett,
      creator of the Discworld, thought would be past the days of his last
      projected Discworld novel! Or so he told Stephen Briggs back in
      1994, when Mr Briggs was conducting the "definitive" Terry Pratchett
      interview for the very first Discworld Companion:

      SB: Do you see yourself still writing Discworld books in ten years'
      time?

      TP: No. Not even in five years' time. Certainly not on a regular
      basis, anyway.

      How fortunate for all of us that he was so spectacularly mistaken!
      Some eighteen-plus years and twenty-one Discworld novels later (not
      counting a host of ancillary Discworld publications, most of which
      featured The Author in – at the very least – a collaborative
      role), the Discworld series is far from finished... and even though
      none of us lasts forever, we now know that the series will endure
      with a Pratchett at the helm for longer still. So raise your
      already- charged holiday glasses in a toast to the
      continuinuinuation of Terry Pratchett and Discworld. Long may both
      endure, and so say we all!

      As you probably know by now, the fourth Science of Discworld is
      ready for the printers (see item 14 below for an image of the
      forthcoming cover art). In January 2013 the Dorset Humanists will be
      hosting a presentation by Science of Discworld co-author about,
      yes, the science of Discworld, in, yes, Dorset!

      "The Science of Discworld is a trilogy (with a fourth title expected
      soon) of popular science books written by Terry Pratchett in
      collaboration with mathematician Ian Stewart and biologist Jack
      Cohen. Each book combines a Discworld-based story by Pratchett
      interwoven with chapters on real world science by Stewart and Cohen.
      In this highly entertaining presentation, Professor Cohen will help
      us to view the science underpinning our world ('Roundworld') from a
      completely different perspective. Join us for a talk that will
      appeal to everyone with an interest in science, as well as to fans
      of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series."

      When: Saturday 12th January 2.00pm
      Venue: Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown,
      Bournemouth BH9 1TW
      Tickets: free entry (donations appreciated). Everyone welcome!

      Read all about it: http://tinyurl.com/d8vdla3

      Word on the street is that Science of Discworld 4 will be released
      on 11th April 2013. Stay tuned for more details!

      Have you ever heard of the Unseen Library? No, not the UU one – a
      very special run of deluxe Discworld books published in our own
      universe! here is a description from the Fine and Finer Editions
      blog:

      "These deluxe volumes were published in batches by BCA, starting in
      2001, often coinciding with the release of a new Pratchett novel.
      Bound in quarter leather, with lavish gilt and using high quality
      paper. The endpapers feature colour maps of Discworld and the covers
      a tipped in image by Paul Kidby... The Unseen Library editions were
      initially very popular – the run for The Colour of Magic was 7000
      copies – but the series ran out of steam with the final release,
      Maskerade, running to only 3000. Apparently the cost of production
      was high so the printing error that required Maskerade to be redone
      may have killed them off. (copies of MASKARADE are naturally very
      collectable!) Nevertheless, these 18 volumes contain most of
      Pratchett's best work in the Discworld universe: Guards! Guards!,
      Small Gods, Equal Rites etc. Copies of the more popular novels are
      often more expensive, yet supplies are plentiful and conditions are
      often near perfect."

      If you happen to be looking for some last-minute presents and happen
      to have an enormous surplus of disposable income – or if, like me,
      you simply want to drool longingly over some fabulous collectibles
      that you might never be able to afford – have a shufti at this
      link. Most of the volumes are offered for prices in the hundreds,
      but it seems that there are a few going for prices commensurate with
      an "ordinary" new Discworld hardcover edition:

      http://tinyurl.com/c3hh3pm

      (Source: _http://tinyurl.com/d8ldkk4_)

      And now, on with the show!

      – Annie Mac, Editor

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      03) THE WOSSNAME REVIEWS

      By Annie Mac

      3.1 A BLINK OF THE SCREEN

      A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction, by Terry Pratchett

      This is a book no Pratchett collector should be without. Far more
      than a mere collection of leftovers and oddments, A Blink of the
      Screen is a fascinating portrait of the evolution of a great writer.
      Many of the pieces in it were formerly unavailable to the general
      public, or cached away in a collection of other authors' wildly
      uneven efforts, or mouldering in the archives of local newspapers
      and minor science-fiction and fantasy magazines; others are reprints
      or re-reprints but having them all in one place is a good, welcome
      thing.

      The book certainly counts as value for money. Over 300 pages long,
      it consists of a foreword by award-winning author and noted
      Pratchett fan A.S. Byatt, a section titled Non-Discworld Shorter
      Writings, a section titled Discworld Shorter Writings, and an
      Appendix which includes a deleted scene from the novella-length
      Lancre Witches story, The Sea and Little Fishes. There are also
      three generous selections of lovingly reprinted illustrations
      commissioned for the original publications, almost all by Josh
      Kirby.

      The non-Discworld fiction that goes back to 1963 and has been
      collected for the first time here includes, inter alia, the very
      short stories Solution (clever, Nivenesque, about a smuggler and the
      enforcer chasing him) and The Picture; the humorous bureaucrat-
      bashing shorts Kindly Breathe in Short, Thick Pants and There's No
      Fool Like an Old Fool Found in an English Queue; several of
      Pratchett's charming "Uncle Jim" tales that show early hints of what
      would become his Discworld writing style; and The High Meggas, "seed
      story" for The Long Earth, which was originally published in 1986.

      There are a fair number of stories that are technically second-hand
      reprints, as they were originally collected and published in 2004's
      Once More* with Footnotes, but given that OM*WF was meant to be a
      special publication for WorldCon attendees, there were very few
      copies of it printed and most Pratchett fans probably have never
      seen much of its contents, so their inclusion here is justified. The
      re-reprints include – and be warned, this list is long but even
      so, not complete – Incubust (less a story than a cutely nerdy
      drabble); Final Reward (a delicious tale of an author's
      deliberately-killed- off creation coming back to haunt him; much,
      much more fun to read than, say, The Dark Half, Stephen King's take
      on the same subject); Turntables of the Night (which counts,
      perhaps, as Early Death even though it has an original post-Mort
      publication date of 1989); # ifdef DEBUG + "world/enough" + "time"
      (I'll say it yet again: this is one of the all-time great science
      fiction short stories, head and shoulders above even Robert
      Heinlein's classic By His Bootstraps); Hollywood Chickens (a
      howlingly funny short that walks all over the William Goldmans and
      Howard Waldrops of this world); The Secret Book of the Dead (a twee
      but truth-filled poem about pets' mortality); Once and Future (a
      flawed but clever take-with-a-twist on the King Arthur legends); FTB
      (possibly a cousin of Hex!); The Hades Business (his earliest
      published story, presented with a needlessly apologetic foreword;
      yes, the writing is rough and unpolished compared to his later work,
      but even so it is of a standard that many published – and even
      successful – authors *never* reach); The Ankh-Morpork National
      Anthem (the full lyric and the story of its creation, both in
      Roundworld and Discworld history); Medical Notes (a short catalogue
      of uniquely Discworldly afflictions such as Attention Surplus
      Syndrome and Paranoia Inversa); Thud — A Historical Perspective
      (the title says it all); and Death and What Comes Next (about
      uncertainty... and inevitability).

      We also get The Sea and Little Fishes (Granny Weatherwax is forced
      by circumstance – and Mrs Earwig – to be "nice"; the ensuing
      horror is every bit as horrible as you might imagine); the Punch and
      Judy-themed Theatre of Cruelty (in which Carrot investigates a
      possible murder in a very Carrot-like fashion); and the famous Cohen
      short story (and nascent film epic) Troll Bridge (while it's
      fantastic as a standalone story and self-contained satire of fantasy
      convention, in the context of the evolved Discworld canon it clangs
      with wrongness. However, this probably makes it a very good way to
      introduce non-Discworld readers to the series. Just a thought...)

      And there's more! The marvellous A Collegiate Casting-Out of
      Devilish Devices – in which A.E. Pessimal comes to do a time and
      motion study at Unseen University, with predictably hilarious
      results. Sir Joshua Easement: a Biographical Note (2010) –
      Pratchett's contribution to the National Portrait Gallery's
      "Imagined Lives" series, in which famous authors were invited to
      provide faux biographical details for anonymous period paintings;
      it's great fun to read and has a familiar feel as shown by this
      sample: "Such of his papers as survive give a tantalising hint that
      in failing to discover the Americas, he may inadvertently have
      discovered practically everywhere else..."; the text of a short
      speech, A Few Words from Lord Havelock Vetinari, on the occasion of
      the twinning of Ankh-Morpork and Wincanton in 2002; and lastly,
      Minutes of the Meeting to Form the Proposed Ankh-Morpork Federation
      of Scouts (I found it clever but mild; my husband, on the other
      hand, giggled madly, so your mileage may vary). All of these are
      introduced by short observations from the author about the
      provenance or original circumstances of publication of each.

      All in all, A Blink of the Screen is a literary meal that satisfies.
      If I had to pick a personal favourite from this huge and varied
      collection, it would probably be the deleted scene from The Sea and
      Little Fishes; I can see why it was deleted in the first place,
      because the tone of it is much darker than the rest of the finished
      story, but frankly that very darkness lifts it to a much higher
      level of emotional impact. One can also see in it the seeds of some
      important parts of Carpe Jugulum and the Tiffany Aching stories.

      A Blink of the Screen is more than a reference and more than a
      history. It's a compendium that can be re-read over and over, and a
      fine addition to any Pratchett bookshelf. Highly recommended.


      3.2 THE COMPLEAT ANKH-MORPORK

      The Compleat Ankh-Morpork is truly a marvel. I was looking forward
      to its publication, and I have to say that it exceeded my
      expectations in every way. Starting with the exquisite slipcase,
      which is a facsimile of the City Guide's hard cover and contains a
      sturdy pocket for the removable map itself – and a sturdy pocket
      is needed, as the map is huge! – you open it to find a gorgeous
      book in which no detail has been overlooked, from the rich blue-and-
      gold of the covers to the subtly marbled endpapers and the
      parchment-like paper of the pages to the flawless print quality of
      the many images. It's a fabulous thing to look at, and it brings the
      Citie of One Thousande Surprises to life as never before.

      In The Compleat Ankh-Morpork you will find a treasure-trove of
      "Essential Information for the Traveller", covering notable laws and
      ordinances, public transport, accommodation, where to eat (and,
      especially, drink), where to buy stamps or send a clacks message, a
      guide to various entertainments, and a guide to places of worship.
      There is a Guilds guide, a guide to Clubs and Societies, a section
      of the Unseen University, a selection of Walking Tours of the City,
      a Directory of Principal Pumps and Wells, and a detailed set of
      "Maps of the Shades and Environs". And then you have the main
      event(s): a fully illustrated 35-page Directory of Ankh-Morpork
      Merchants, Traders and Services, and the Annotated Directory of the
      Streets, Alleys, Roads, Lanes and Yards of Ankh-Morpork, giving
      exact map locations for all and fascinating histories for many.

      And oh, the illustrations! The original Ankh-Morpork map and
      gazetteer, The Streets of Ankh-Morpork (Corgi, 1993), was created by
      the collaborative duo of Pterry and Stephen Briggs, drawn –
      beautifully – by Stephen Player and illustrated – also
      beautifully – by the multitalented Mr Briggs. This time around,
      the art and text of the Guide is a collaboration between Pterry and
      The Discworld Emporium (Bernard and Isobel Pearson, Reb Voyce, and
      Ian Mitchell) and is every bit as beautifully drawn and illustrated,
      but the difference lies in quantity rather than quality. To call the
      illustrations "lavish" barely does justice to their impact. The
      sheer number of them! The detail! The complexity! The way they seem
      to combine all the various official visual realisations of this
      great city, from the earliest Map to The World of Poo! (My personal
      favourite is the full-page illustration on page 102, which would
      surely bring a tear of delighted approval to Hogarth's eye were he
      still among the living.)

      Most of all, The Compleat Ankh-Morpork is a testament to the way the
      Discworld universe has grown, evolved... and grown up. Yes, the
      tradition of using wonderfully awful puns as names has continued –
      in addition to the many amusing place and street names we already
      knew, we also now know that the great city of Ankh-Morpork contains
      Over-Easy Street (coming off Tenth Egg Street, appropriately), Fair
      Fowl Lane, Wartson Hall Road, Turney Down, Backhand Forth, Robes
      Pier and Amper Sands, to name but a few – but there is also a
      wealth of the kind of ingeniously daft (and oddly believable) names
      that made us fall in love with the Big Wahoonie in the first place.
      Blatant Moorsfoot, First On The Right Street, Proven Fruit, High
      Trouser Lane, Diribitory March, Butter Gusset Lane, Loopers Maw,
      Feathermist Vennel, Small-But-Delicious-Fishes Avenue... the list of
      wonderful names goes on and on yet never wearies. The Directory of
      Principal Pumps and Wells alone contains more punnery than you can
      shake a Fools Guild bladder-on-a-stick at. And for the er um more
      fandom-oriented aficionado, there is the fun of finding all the
      "insider" names (for instance Harkin, a "place close to the Cattle
      Market, renowned for small back-room operations, the production of
      quack medicines and brewing")... and for the rest of us, the fun of
      wondering "Who is Frederick Hillam and why does he have a crescent
      named after him?"

      The Compleat Ankh-Morpork combines in one volume the whimsy of the
      various Discworld Almanacks and the visual delights of some of the
      best of Discworld art. If I seem ridiculously enthusiastic about it,
      I assure you that I mean every word of praise. The only cavil I can
      come up with is that the map itself seems to be of a thinner and
      lesser-quality paper than its 1993 predecessor, but given its
      increased size and the fact that it is a double-sided printing –
      on the reverse of the map is an iconograph-style panorama of the
      whole of the city, so anyone wanting to frame and hang it might have
      to consider buying a second copy, and that might be entering the
      realm of the truly obsessed – this is probably an unavoidable
      situation.

      The Compleat Ankh-Morpork is superb. It is, in my opinion, the best
      of all the ancillary Discworld publications. It is, in a word...
      compleat. Buy it, pore over it, get lost in it. You'll never look
      back – especially if you find yourself on Don't Look Back Street!

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      04) PRAISE AND KUDOS FOR THE LONG EARTH

      WOSSNAME congratulates Sir Pterry and Stephen Baxter on The Long
      Earth being voted best science fiction book of 2012 by the reader-
      driven site Goodreads. TLE won the category (science fiction) with
      7670 votes.

      Also, The Independent lists The Long Earth as one of its most highly
      recommended "books of the year" in science fiction, fantasy and
      horror, calling it "a rollicking tale:

      http://tinyurl.com/b3fdode

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      05) "THE DUEL" PROGRESSES

      On Irish media news site IFTN:

      "Pre-production has begun on Irish animation 'The Duel', with
      acclaimed fantasy writer Terry Pratchett on board as executive
      producer. Dublin-based Giant Animation Studios developed the idea
      and began pre-production after award-winning writer Pratchett
      approved an initial treatment... The project is a collaboration
      between Giant Animation and the Animation Hub; a collective of
      animators from Ballyfermot College of Further Education and Trinity
      College Dublin. The aim of the Animation Hub is to work on high end
      projects that have an educational/incubation remit, where students
      get hands-on experience on a full production delivered by a
      professional studio...

      "Sean Mullen, Alex Sherwood and Ben Harper of Giant Animation wrote
      the script and will direct the short. Giant's Daniel Spencer and
      programme leader of the BA (Hons) Animation Gareth Lee are
      producing. David Lloyd is the executive producer with Pratchett...
      'The Duel' is due for completion in August 2013."

      http://tinyurl.com/c62dwdf

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      O6) WINCANTON'S HOGSWATCH AND TWINNING CELEBRATIONS

      Here be a blogpost from the lovely Muriel Lavender, performance poet
      and Discworld fan:

      "I've given several poetry performances this weekend as part of the
      10th anniversary celebrations of the twinning of Ankh-Morpork, the
      greatest city on the Discworld, with Wincanton in Somerset – home,
      naturally, of the Discworld Emporium and the finest Hogswatch
      celebrations you'll see anywhere. It's an overwhelming thing to have
      been part of – the love, warmth and passion of all those Discworld
      devotees, who brought together all those other warm and passionate
      Discworld devotees from around the globe... I believe Sir Terry
      Pratchett himself describes his most dedicated Discworld followers
      as 'Bloody Loonies'. It's clear that his regard for these Loonies is
      both warm and mutual. I was privileged to be part of all this
      inspired lunacy this weekend. Speaking of Sir Terry, he came in
      during my performance and took a seat. That was a very special
      moment for me. The generosity (and, it must be said, devoted fandom)
      of the Discworldians who attended the auction, raised over £2900
      for The Research Institute for the Care of Older People..."

      Muriel's page includes a number of photos from the day, including
      some very impressive Discworld costumes!

      http://tinyurl.com/cqb2zz6


      From This Is Somerset:

      "The town welcomed hundreds of visitors as part of the three-day
      annual Hogswatch celebrations. An army of Pratchett fans joined
      local dignitaries in celebrating the tenth anniversary since
      Wincanton was twinned with fictional Discworld city Ankh-Morpork. A
      civic ceremony was held in the town hall on Saturday to mark the
      milestone. Despite Saturday's scheduled grand parade from the
      Discworld Emporium to Market Square falling victim to the foul
      weather, organisers were delighted to see that 'the spirit of the
      occasion was not dampened'. Reb Voyce, who works at the Discworld
      Emporium, said: 'We had so many new people travelling into the town
      from all over Europe. It's a truly unique event to celebrate a
      unique link that Wincanton has with Discworld...'"

      http://tinyurl.com/cmnwmom


      From the Western Gazette:

      "The Compleat Ankh-Morpork is the newly-released travel guide to
      Pratchett's famous fictional metropolis. Each book includes a giant
      double-sided street map and aerial view along with a comprehensive
      trade directory and gazetteer. To mark the book's launch, an army of
      loyal fans travelled from far and wide to Wincanton – in
      traditional Discworld attire... Treacle Mine Road, Peach Pie Street
      and Morpork Street are among Wincanton's streets showcasing its
      fantasy phenomenon. Bernard Pearson, owner of the Discworld Emporium
      on the town's high street and good friend of Sir Terry, pioneered
      the twinning of the town with Ankh-Morpork ten years ago. He said:
      'This latest book is the culmination of a year's research and
      artistic endeavour, and a testament to Pratchett's genius as a
      fantasy writer. All of us at the Discworld Emporium are proud to
      have played a part in it's production, and pleased to further
      strengthen Wincanton's ties with Ankh-Morpork in the tenth
      anniversary year of the famous town twinning.'...

      "Colin Winder, mayor of Wincanton, said: 'Hogswatch is absolutely
      great for the area, anything that gives us wide publicity has to be
      welcomed...'"

      (includes a lovely photo)

      http://tinyurl.com/c4smf84

      [Editor's note: Wincanton's mayor has an eerily appropriate surname
      – let's just hope he doesn't share certain less salubrious
      qualities with the former Patrician of Ankh-Morpork!]

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      07) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

      7.1 REMINDER: THE FIFTH ELEPHANT IN READING

      The Progress Theatre of Reading will present their production of The
      Fifth Elephant (adapted by Stephen Briggs and directed by Chris
      Moran) in January 2013.

      When: Thursday 17th to Saturday 26th January 2013
      Venue: Progress Theatre, Reading, Berks
      Time: 7:45pm (with Matinees on Saturday 19th and 26th at 2:30pm)
      Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions), available in advance from Reading
      Arts Box Office (phone 0118 960 6060, booking fee applies) or by
      application in person at the Hexagon or Town Hall.

      http://www.progresstheatre.co.uk/shows/the-fifth-elephant/


      7.2 REMINDER: DODGER IN ABINGDON

      The Studio Theatre Club's world stage premiere of Dodger will take
      place on 22nd to 26th January 2013!

      How to book:

      Send your ticket order (with back-up choices if you're after Friday
      or Saturday tickets); your cheque (payable to 'STC' – £8.50 per
      ticket), and a stamped, self-addressed, envelope to:

      Studio Theatre Club (Dodger)
      PO Box 1486
      Oxford
      OX4 9DQ

      http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/CurrentPlans.html


      7.3 REVIEW: GUARDS! GUARDS! IN EMERALD, FOURECKS

      Reviewed for WOSSNAME by Sir Jase

      Last Sunday my family and I headed up the hills for our first taste
      of live Discworld with Guards Guards by the Gemco Players. After
      complimentary sherries (which were also complementary to the
      experience) and an assurance to one CMOT Dibbler that one programme
      each was enough thanks, we headed into the intimate theatre at the
      Gem Community Arts Centre.

      The amateur cast handled the play with an enthusiasm which engaged
      the intimate but full theatre. They delivered the jokes well and
      played the physical comedy with no hesitation. Supporting cast held
      their end up and allowed a number of standout performances. Carmella
      Pezzimenti played an appropriately robust and hearty Lady Sybil with
      just a touch of softness and Adam Ballis played his characters with
      relish, especially a particularly affronted Urdo Van Pew. Adam
      Houham's descent into madness as Lupine Wonse almost made me forget
      I was watching a comedy for a while.

      The brotherhood provided plenty of laughs, notably ten year old
      Caleb Hope's Brother Dunnykin harping on about his three dollars,
      and the three watchmen had good chemistry as a team. Having not seen
      a Discworld play before, I was interested to see how the Librarian
      would work, but Jordan Galt injected sentences of meaning into every
      Ook!

      We did find Footnote a little distracting. The schoolmarmish
      character was played well enough, but we noticed that the slow
      expository style did disrupt the comedic flow in the faster scenes
      – delivering the footnote with the same pace as the rest of the
      action would have felt more integrated.

      The set was well constructed, using limited space with versatility
      – a rotating set to one side allowed quick, unobtrusive changes,
      and the director's good use of the whole area helped to engage the
      audience. The heads of the watchmen poking above the rooftops made
      for good visual comedy. Errol was adorably puppeteered, and lighting
      and special effects lent depth and magic to the action on stage.

      Overall, a great afternoon was had by us. In her first major
      production Evie Housham has directed an energetic band of Gemco
      Players to a very enjoyable show.

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      08) ODDS AND SODS DEPARTMENT

      8.1 STEPHEN PLAYER INTERVIEW

      Some extracts from a recent Plain Ketchup podcast interview with
      Discworld illustrator Stephen Player:

      "Is it true you rather draw from memory and imagination than pure
      observation?

      "What seems to be strange in America is that referencing things
      seems to be completely acceptable. When I was a child, if you were
      found to have copied it from a photograph, then that negated the
      whole thing. Everybody would be like "You cheated," so I forced
      myself to learn to draw so that I could draw things from imagination
      because that's all that was valid. It was a strange little "Village
      of the Damned" that I was living in because it doesn't seem to have
      affected anybody else.

      "You were the concept artist on the film Hogfather. Your work
      inspired their wardrobe designers, CGI artists, and set designers.
      To actually see things that you designed in existence, how surreal
      is that?

      "I'm very aware of how art changes from the conception to being in
      the movie, so I didn't expect my designs to appear as I did them,
      but there were a lot of things in that movie that were straight from
      my drawings. I was quite surprised. The sock eating creature was
      pretty much 100% from what I drew, and Hex the computer, and of
      course the bone castle.

      "Do you still have any drawings from when you were a kid?

      "Recently, my sister had found some portfolio that was stuck under a
      bed forever, full of my stuff from school. So yeah, I suddenly
      discovered this whole treasure trove–well, I know treasure isn't
      quite the word–but it was actually strange, like meeting old
      friends you'd almost forgotten. And then, 'Oh my God, I spent hours
      and hours over that drawing.' What I should say is that they were
      not as good as I remembered because that would show humility, but I
      was actually kind of impressed. Because I teach now, you see, so I
      know the levels that tend to be around, and I was actually pretty
      good for that age."

      Player also talks about the process of designing the very first
      Feegles in Wee Free Men. To listen to the entire interview, go to:

      http://tinyurl.com/cbv53t8


      8.2 ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH ROUNDUP

      Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine are experimenting with a new
      use for "brain pacemakers":

      "The surgery marks a new direction in clinical research and it's
      designed to slow or halt the ravages of Alzheimer's. Instead of
      using drugs, this study uses low-voltage electrical charges
      delivered directly to the brain. In 2010, as part of a preliminary
      study, the devices were implanted in six Alzheimer's patients in
      Canada. Patients with mild forms of the disorder showed sustained
      increases in glucose metabolism, an indicator of neuronal activity,
      over a 13-month period. A second patient will undergo the same
      procedure in December. 'Recent failures in Alzheimer's disease
      trials using drugs such as those designed to reduce the buildup of
      beta amyloid plaques in the brain have sharpened the need for
      alternative strategies,' states Paul B. Rosenberg, site director of
      the Johns Hopkins clinical trial. Some 40 patients will receive the
      brain stimulation implant over the next year at Johns Hopkins and
      four other institutions in North America as part of the ADvance
      Study led by Constantine G. Lyketsos and Andres Lozano. Only
      patients whose cognitive impairment is mild enough that they can
      decide on their own to participate will be included in the trial...
      The surgery involves drilling holes into the skull to implant wires
      into the fornix on either side of the brain. This is a brain pathway
      instrumental in bringing information to the hippocampus, and the
      portion of the brain where learning begins and memories are made..."

      or http://tinyurl.com/d73dmtc


      Scientists in the UK have created brain cells from skin cells, to
      study diseases such as Alzheimer's:

      "Cambridge scientists have, for the first time, created cerebral
      cortex cells – those that make up the brain's grey matter – from
      a small sample of human skin... [this procedure] will enable
      scientists to study how the human cerebral cortex develops, how it
      'wires up' and how that can go wrong (a common problem leading to
      learning disabilities). It will also allow them to recreate brain
      diseases, such as Alzheimer's, in the lab. This will give them
      previously impossible insight, allowing them to both watch the
      diseases develop in real time and also develop and test new drugs to
      stop the diseases progressing. Dr Rick Livesey of the Gurdon
      Institute and Department of Biochemistry at the University of
      Cambridge, principal investigator of the research, said: 'This
      approach gives us the ability to study human brain development and
      disease in ways that were unimaginable even five years ago'...

      "Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, the
      UK's leading dementia research charity, said: 'We are really pleased
      to have contributed funding for this work and the results are a
      positive step forward. Turning stem cells into networks of fully
      functional nerve cells in the lab holds great promise for
      unravelling complex brain diseases such as Alzheimer's...'"

      or http://tinyurl.com/bnxe397


      A study has found new information about how the tau protein, an
      Alzheimer's indicator, spreads in the brain:

      "In the study, the researchers used genetically modified mice to
      have a human gene for abnormal tau protein in the frontal lobe,
      where tau is supposed to begin its accumulation. The brains were
      analyzed over a period of 22 months to map the protein's spread.
      They discovered that tau spread to different regions of the brain
      across the synapses. These new clues might provide a way to stop the
      neurodegenerative disease from getting worse. Karen E. Duff, a
      pathologist at the Columbia University Medical Center, in New York
      City, states that this follows what they see in the earliest stages
      of human Alzheimer's disease. Scientists knew that the disease
      spread from one region in the brain to others, but brain scans and
      autopsies remained inconclusive. The tau pathology starts in the
      entorhinal cortex, and spreads from there. An effective treatment,
      which would emulate how physicians treat cancer, would include early
      detection and some form of a new treatment at the early stage of the
      disease, when it's most amenable to treatment..."

      or http://tinyurl.com/bteqava


      8.3 BUY THIS BOOK!!!

      As reviewed in item 3.2 above: here be details regarding the
      purchase of that most excellent artefact, The Compleat Ankh-Morpork.
      No Discworld-lover's home should be without one. No, really.

      "This magnificent guidebook is the culmination of a year's research
      and artistry, a feat only possible with the vision, direction and
      penmanship of one Sir Terry Pratchett. As proud producers of this
      marvellous tome we can confidently say that The Compleat Ankh-
      Morpork is one of the most detailed, and finely crafted fantasy maps
      ever devised. Contained within is a comprehensive gazetter and trade
      Directory, along with all the civic and municpal information deemed
      useful to the inhabitant, or visitor to the Big Wahoonie. Also
      included is a spectacular double-sided pull-out map measuring a
      whopping 95 x 85cm. One side boasts a detailed plan of all known
      streets, cuts and alleys, while the other bears an artistic
      rendition of Ankh-Morpork so beautiful that it is guaranteed to stir
      wonder in the hearts of any Discworld fan."

      The price is £23.00. Yes, you might get it cheaper on a certain
      enormous and world-spanning commercial website, but that isn't
      really the point – and if you order from the Cunning Artificer's
      Discworld Emporium, not only are you supporting a business at the
      very heart of Discworld-dom, but you will also get a beautiful extra
      that's totally exclusive to the pride of Wincanton:

      "As we were lucky enough to have a hand in producing The Compleat
      Ankh-Morpork, we're giving away 'The Compleat Story' with every copy
      in celebration of it's release, and as a thank you to our loyal
      customers. This A3 double-sided behind-the-scenes tale will give you
      a special insight into our involvement in the project from
      conception to 'compleation'. Features material from the cutting room
      floor, insider information and, we're delighted to say, a little bit
      of nudity!"

      For more information, and to order, go to:

      http://tinyurl.com/d7rp53j

      And while you're there, adding a mere tenner will get you a related
      – and also fabulous – Ankh-Morpork keepsake:

      "Fed up? Need a break? Looking for a change? Why not rent a place
      in the most interesting part of the most exciting city in any
      Multiverse? For just £10.00 you could have a pied-a-terre in the
      'folklorique' and fragrant heart of Ankh-Morpork!

      "Send no money today and you could miss out on the opportunity of a
      lifetime, or sign up with Portal Properties, sole agent for Unreal
      Estate at the Discworld Emporium, and secure an affordable living
      space in a most desirable dwelling house in the Shades. We have a
      portfolio of properties available to rent now - Just leave it all to
      us; with space at a premium and many neighbourhoods being populated
      by newcomers of various species, our team of experts at Portal
      Properties will find the right place for you.

      "As soon as we receive your down-payment, a short-term lease will be
      drawn up on the property we have selected for you. This will be sent
      to you along with our terms and conditions. No references required!
      You will be sent three legal sized, colour sheets inside an
      attractive property portfolio. The first sheet is your lease and
      tenancy agreement, the second sheet outlines the position and nature
      of your property and surroundings and the third sheet deals, mainly,
      with your conditions of tenure. Each lease is good for a year and a
      day and has the relevant duty stamp."

      Price: £10.00

      For more information, and to order, go to:

      http://tinyurl.com/c2kgsba


      8.4 NADWCON UPDATE

      For those of you planning to attend next year's NADWcon, membership
      discounts still apply until the end of December! A full adult
      membership 9ages 13 and up) costs $99 now but will go up after New
      year's Eve to eleventy ($111, for any non-hobbit-savvy).

      Child memberships (ages 6-12) are now $49.50, going up to $55.50 in
      January; family memberships (up to two parents/guardians and their
      dependent children), now $297, will become $333; memberships for
      children ages 5 and under are free. There are still supporting
      memberships available until the end of this month, priced at $33.
      For further details, including qualifications for dependent
      children, go to:

      www.nadwcon.org/signup/membership

      Confirmed guests for the convention, which will run from 5th – 8th
      July 2013 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, include Sir
      Pterry (health permitting) and Rob, Pat Harkin, "Team Artificer"
      (Bernard Pearson, Reb Voyce and Ian Mitchell), Esther M. Friesner,
      and The Long Earth co-author Stephen Baxter.

      www.nadwcon.org

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      09) THE THINGS PRATCHETT FANS SAY...

      Sean Hosking says...
      Just finished reading Snuff. Went straight out and bought world of
      poo for my 5 year old son. lol. Now tonight to start Dodger! Hooray.
      Can't wait. Snuff was awesome by the by. If I could have a man
      servant to watch my kids it would be Willikins hands down. That guy
      is as tough as 2 dollar steak.

      Paul Davis-Cooke says...
      Like millions of other people with this terrible addiction, I have
      everything Sir Terry has published, some in more than one format. My
      self control has been so undermined that I cannot resist the
      temptation to read, re-read and continuously torture myself with his
      outpourings. Dodger is a triumph and has only one fault, it should
      be three times as long. I was so immersed in the atmosphere that I
      didn't want it to end. I am still waiting to wake up on discworld
      and find that all this was a crazy dream, but The Long Earth,
      Nation, Dodger, is there nothing he can't do?

      Estelle Pieters says...
      My very beloved husband recently passed away, he introduced me to
      Terry Pratchett many years ago, and in his last few months re-read
      every novel Terry had written, the amazing humour and truth and
      wonderful way of looking at life made his last months more bearable
      for him. Thankyou to a great author, you will always be cherished.

      Les McCormick says...
      You were the first author to make me laugh VERY loud on a public
      bus. Ill never forget that. From that i was hooked. Before that, I
      had read things, very quietly. I still remember the moment, and the
      bus that i caught. thank you Terry, thats what started me reading,
      PASSIONATLY. I have always found it hard to relax, to get my brain
      to stop ticking. But after reading your books i found a way to
      relax. THANK YOU Terry. If you are ever in Sydney I would love to
      but you a drink. As you good Sir changed my life.

      Alexandria Hadkinson-Dunn says...
      You are a genius of our times sir and my partner and I think you are
      MOST incredible.

      Mishka Greene says...
      You are a great writer:) have thoroughly enjoyed nearly your whole
      catalogue, and will again:)

      Robert Benson says...
      I had a really weird dream last night about Discworld. Lord Vetinari
      passed away and Moist Von Lipwig became the new Patrician of Ahnk-Morpork.

      Rogahar Zealus says...
      I'd just like to say thankyou, Sir Pratchett, for bringing me an
      entire childhood and continuing early adulthood of joy and laughter
      from your excellent Discworld series :) I still have my father's
      full collection of original paper and hardbacks of every one thus
      far, save for Dodger which I plan on buying in short order. :D You
      are a master of the written word, and you have my eternal thanks.

      Sean P Barry says...
      Just read your interview on A.V. Club website. Your closing comments
      inspired me to come here and comment. You said you wish to be
      remembered as "a really great writer", but you don't think you are.
      Considering how many hours of happiness and entertainment your books
      have given me Sir, I think you're a bloody fantastic writer, thank
      you!

      Alexandra Weisman says...
      Just finished reading Snuff! I absolutely loved it! Thank you Sir! A
      million thanks! It was such a pleasure reading it!

      Brandon Tasha Bledsoe says...
      Read "The Long Earth" today. So irresistibly captivating &
      enthralling, I couldn't put it down until the end!

      Kath Whitehead says...
      I've made a convert! My friend asked me to loan him s few of my
      discworld books, he's now hooked and keeps asking for more! He
      managed 54 years without Pratchett, now he can't wait for next book!

      Shea DuPree says...
      The media player I use(VLC) just released an update called
      "Twoflower" that they report will help with all the Ogg problems –
      I nearly widdled meself!

      Abbie Boniface says...
      I have been reading the Wee Free Men to my kids. My son (6) just
      said 'Ah Crivens, I've just spilled my juice!'

      Dave Blackburn says...
      It's beginning to smell a lot like Hogswatch,
      Down at the old stockyard. Chops and hams and bacon rinds,
      Rendering the lard...

      Rebekah JosiLynne Sloan says...
      Every Christmas for the past few years it has become tradition to
      watch Hogfather. Today I put the movie on for me and my 7 year old
      daughter and about halfway into the first night she says "I believe
      in Santa and the Hogfather." Me thinks I will be putting a Hogfather
      present under the tree this year!

      Sam Annear says...
      Seriously, my favourite author. Have to say, Death is my favourite
      character, but utterly love them all. And The Wee Free Men!

      Keith Hawkins says...
      Why do my family make me wait until Christmas or my birthday to get
      the next book. At nearly 60 years old it is too long to wait for the
      few good bits of life.

      Jenny Wu says...
      I can't express how much Sir Terry's work has meant to me. I read
      (or listen to Nigel Planer or Stephen Briggs) when I feel sad or
      stressed or lonely or happy. Now i'm watching Going Postal for the
      first time and remembering how much i love the characters. Thank you
      so much!

      Silane Arthon says...
      Terry Pratchett... That's the name that connects people together...
      France or Germany or England... We all know your books – and we
      always have something to share thanks to them. You bring light and
      fun in my life and your books helped me to have something to say to
      people from a different cultures – not only because we love them
      all, but also because I found another point of view about life
      thanks to "Meme Ciredutemps" (Granny Weatherwax). I hope your books
      will be studied in the universities soon because it's much more
      useful and fun than "classics" ;)

      Thor Martin Berg says...
      Terry Pratchett your books make me smile, cry and laugh no matter
      what mood I am in. Thank you for that.

      Barak Brudo says...
      I'm from Israel. You are one of my favorite authors and since I
      admire your genius I thought it couldn't hurt to ask.. You've
      created Thud as a way for two very different people with a long
      history of hate and bloodshed to find understanding, to see the
      other side's point of view. I know it's a long shot, but could you
      maybe do something like it for the Israelis and Palestinians? we
      could sure use some good narrativium around here. Thanks in advance
      and be well. for a long, long time to come.

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      10) REVIEW: DODGER

      Reviewed by Mohsin Siddiqui on Pakistan website Dawn:

      "Pratchett has covered war, enslavement, demonic possession, and —
      most worrying of all — the meaning of being human. Diagnosed with
      Alzheimer's some years ago, Pratchett can't be faulted for having
      taken a turn towards the negative. In his latest novel Dodger,
      however, Pratchett has again taken an upbeat tone...

      "Dodger is told exclusively as a narrative by its protagonist, which
      means that the worldview you might expect from Pratchett is somewhat
      restricted to Victoriana. That said, it remains smartly,
      unapologetically aware; politically, socially, and economically. The
      target audience is clearly young adults, but Pratchett manages a
      sensibility that avoids condescension in any way. He refuses to
      elide or conceal the stark misery of life in Victorian England, but
      he does not harp on it to excess either; there is no sense that he
      is doing anything other than documenting reality. This is
      underpinned by the evident inspiration that Pratchett found in
      historical fact and fiction, but Dodger manages to avoid losing its
      own internal voice in the reams of 'actual' detail... Rather than
      individuals having to overcome their own darker side, or grand
      rebellion against the forces of evil, Dodger is a story of ethics
      and of unexpected heroism. Dodger has grown up in an environment
      where betrayal and competition are as natural as oxygen, but the
      innate goodness in him consistently wins out... Dodger is generous,
      courageous and possessed of an almost aggressive loyalty that seems
      to be utterly absent from his milieu. This could easily have turned
      him into boring character. Thankfully, the goodness exists hand-in-
      hand with a stubborn practicality..."

      http://tinyurl.com/a93vs75

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      11) REVIEW: A BLINK OF THE SCREEN

      By Colin Hicks, on The Pratchett Podcast page:

      "This is well worth buying – but I suspect I am preaching to the
      converted here – even if you are lucky enough to own 'Once more
      with Footnotes'. There is about a 30% overlap in content but as OMWF
      was published over 8 years ago it has a lot of new content... Each
      story has a short forward by Sir Terry even only to say he cannot
      remember writing it. Or to say he had to be restrained from re-
      writing it to make it presentable..."

      http://www.facebook.com/groups/126205344153979/?fref=ts

      (requires Facebook login)


      Hicks also offers a short review of Lawrence Watt-Evans' unofficial
      Discworld companion book, "The Turtle Moves":

      "Has anyone read The Turtle Moves, The: Discworld's Story So Far by
      Lawrence Watt-Evans? I bought this book 4 years ago and I am doing a
      quick re-read. It's a light hearted Tongue in Cheek, effectively a
      fan review written by an American author, of the discworld books. Up
      to Making Money. For Discworld fans it won't tell you anything new
      and for non discworld fans it has a lot of spoilers but... it does
      not take itself seriously and is inoffensive. I don't think I would
      pay the Amazon price, but if you can pick a copy up cheap on ebay go
      ahead. And it explains some of the jokes – it only took me 20
      years to get the Plain of Reality and AirPlane joke in the Colour of
      Magic..."

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      12) DISCWORLD GROUPS MEETING NEWS

      The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South
      Australia. TCoSG have regular dinner and games nights, plus play
      outings, craft-y workshops, and fun social activities throughout the
      year. For more info and to join their mailing list, go to:

      http://ausdwcon.org/pages/smallgods


      The Broken Vectis Drummers meet on the first Thursday of every month
      from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. The next
      meeting will probably be on Thursday 3rd January 2013, but do email
      (see below) to check. All new members and curious passersby are very
      welcome! For more info and any queries, contact:

      broken_vectis_drummers@...


      The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) meets on the first
      Friday of every month at the famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards.
      Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome! The next WOTS meeting will
      (probably) be on Friday 4th January 2013.


      The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, London's original Discworld
      meeting group, will be from 7pm on Monday 7th January 2013 at the
      Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ.

      "We welcome anyone and everyone who enjoys Sir Terry's works, or
      quite likes them or wants to find out more. We have had many
      visitors from overseas who have enjoyed themselves and made new
      friends. The discussions do not only concern the works of Sir Terry
      Pratchett but wander and meander through other genres and authors
      and also leaping to TV and Film production. We also find time for a
      quiz. The prize is superb. The chance to set the quiz the following
      month."

      For more info, contact BrokenDrummers@...

      http://www.steeljam.co.uk/brokendrummers/


      The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of
      Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, have been meeting on a regular
      basis since 2005 but is now looking to take in some new blood
      (presumably not in the non-reformed Uberwald manner). The Flatalists
      normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, N
      Yorks, to discuss "all things Pratchett" as well as having quizzes
      and raffles.

      Details of future meetings are posted on the Events section of the
      Discworld Stamps forum:

      http://www.discworldstamps.co.uk/forum/


      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):

      kenworthys@...


      Perth Drummers meet on the traditional date of first Monday of the
      month, from 6pm at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco. The next
      meeting will be on Monday 7th January 2013. For more information
      contact:

      Daniel Hatton at daniel_j_hatton@...

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      13) DISCWORLD GAMES NEWS

      REVIEW: GUARDS! GUARDS! BOARDGAME

      Reviewed by Phil on gaming site The Shell Case:

      "For starters, you get a lot of stuff in the box. A small forest of
      card board in fact and the production value is excellent. Everything
      in full colour. Everything made from good stock produced to a good
      finish. It's a weighty box and includes a four panel fold out
      boards, cards, counters, profiles and counters and tokens of various
      types. The premise of the game is as typically Discworld as players
      must go in search of magic spells that have been stolen from the
      Unseen University, right out from under the Librarians nose. Oook...

      "I think the greatest strength to this game is the determination of
      the writers to keep it feeling Discworld. Aside from the characters
      you meet along the way and attempt to charm or bribe into your
      service, the items you can acquire are familiar too, such as
      Rincewind's hat. Fate will dictate that Death takes you for a Curry
      or you can get run over by Luggage. Those new to Discworld won't get
      every reference, character, or gag but that's fine because most of
      it is funny on its own merits but for fans it'll be the little
      touches that really gets their nerd juices flowing... Where Guards!
      Guards! really excels is the extremely tactical nature of the
      game... basically there's lots of hooning around the city trying to
      avoid being kicked in the face whilst, in turn kicking others in the
      face. Discworld Noir this ain't. If I'm honest, because there is so
      much to remember you can find yourself a little confused on your
      first outing but I think that's slightly more to do with the
      rulebook as it could, for me, be slightly more logically laid out.
      But it's a relatively minor grumble from what is actually a superb
      game. Especially if you're a fan of the Discworld novels..."

      theshellcase.co.uk/2012/11/27/guards-guards-the-boardgame-a-review/

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      14) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

      Pterry looking very pleased to be close to a very attractive
      Seamstress at the Wincanton Hogswatch 2012 celebrations:

      http://tinyurl.com/cvpgtvd


      Best Hogfather ever?

      http://tinyurl.com/bovlyqb


      ...but then again...:

      http://tinyurl.com/b33goco


      Pterry and Tony Robinson sharing a laugh:

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A8zJf5cCUAAL26q.jpg


      The Paul Kidby cover art for Science of Discworld 4!

      http://tinyurl.com/anegpx5


      Is it Rincewind's Red army?

      http://tinyurl.com/bac4qhd


      Possible sighting of a newborn Star Turtle...

      http://tinyurl.com/ao8ns3t


      Mrs Cake cross-stitch, by Ellie Spencer:

      http://tinyurl.com/bv3cecg

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      15) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

      Blogger and author SJ Higbee is back with a review of Dodger, giving
      it ten out of ten:

      "This is something of a departure for Pratchett – there isn't a
      single fantastical detail in this adventure. Although, his version
      of Victorian London bears more than a passing resemblance to Ankh-
      Morpork, the bustling city state of his Discworld series – so much
      so, I was half expecting Corporal Carrot to come marching around the
      corner accompanied by a troll and a werewolf to investigate the
      whole business. However, this time around, we have to make do with
      the likes of Charles Dickens, Henry Mayhew and Sir Robert Peel.
      So… is Pratchett's foray into historical fiction successful?...
      Pratchett has the knack of producing a vivid backdrop that not only
      gives a memorable setting to all his action, but somehow manages to
      become another distinctive character in its own right – a very
      neat trick to pull off. So the wealth of historical detail woven
      into the story becomes part of the fun. And, this, being Pratchett,
      is fun...

      "Which disguises what is actually a grim tale. Of poverty and
      desperation. Of cynical seduction and the callous disposal of a
      beautiful young girl, once her rich, powerful husband tires of her.
      Of an intelligent boy whose future at one point, was to live a short
      life roaming the sewers, but wrapped up in the adventure story of a
      beautiful girl needing to be rescued... There is more than a nod in
      the direction of Dickens with the unfolding storyline, but
      ultimately, it is Pratchett's own themes that surface – his
      dislike of the complacent rich, his loathing of social injustice,
      the belief that one person with a burning sense of what is right can
      change a system – even if the result is often not what was
      originally intended. And above all, his affection for humanity,
      which suffuses this offering. Once again, I think the category of YA
      is somewhat superfluous – this is Pratchett...."

      http://tinyurl.com/c7wkdc3


      Blogger Tanya Cienfuegos reviews Dodger:

      "I have had trouble getting into his non-discworld stuff before. I
      was worried that the same would happen with Dodger. I worried
      needlessly. Dodger was a great read that I finished in 3 sittings.
      The Victorian setting was very reminiscent of the discworld...
      Dodger himself surprised me a lot. From the description from the
      cover blurb, I imagined someone like, well, Nobby Nobbs and there
      are some hints of that in Dodger but with some Vimes-esque badass
      and self-doubt mixed in. He was an incredibly sweet and awesome
      geezer and reaffirms my admiration for Sir Terry's talent for
      creating amazing characters. The mystery girl herself, known as
      Simplicity, was a fascinating girl who still intrigues me. She and
      Dodger were great to watch and even more so when they were
      together... I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't read Sir
      Terry's books or who is just a fan of the Victorian era..."

      http://tinyurl.com/bmrdvbg


      ...as does blogger olyzwords:

      "This is a fun and humorous novel. Every once in a while a book
      comes along that hits several 'sweet spots' for me. This is one such
      book (Another example is Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon for very
      different reasons). The sweet spots for me in this novel are:
      Victorian age London, Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, and a host of
      cameos from contemporaries of the time such as Charles Babbage.
      Terry Pratchett shows his usual wit and style..."

      olyzwordz.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/book-review-dodger/


      Blogger Goldenbookwyrm meets Witches Abroad for the first time:

      "As with all Discworld books, Pratchett spends much of the time
      making fun of typical Fantasy cliches, most noticeably the ones
      surrounding witches and fairy godmothers. Not only is it funny, but
      it adds depth to the story, because once a character basically
      screams, 'Hey, look at me! I'm living up to a stereotype!', you
      start to pay attention to what's going on underneath and why the
      character would choose to do so. I think that's pretty cool. My
      favorite part of this story is Greebo, Nanny Ogg's terrifying cat.
      Every scene he's in is amazing. I want a Greebo of my own. :) I also
      love the sub-plot about the mirrors and why witches should never
      stand between two of them..."

      http://tinyurl.com/c52fgnq


      Blogger isobelreads was somewhat perplexed by Night Watch:

      "Having read and loved the first ten or so Discworld novels, all
      hilarious, inventive and readable to the point of addiction, I was
      really looking forward to Night Watch. Unfortunately it seems that
      the Discworld seems to have moved on quite a lot since my last
      visit! This book is the sixth in the City Watch series, of which I
      have read none, and so it's littered with obscure references and
      in-jokes that I completely missed out on. There were also characters
      that I was clearly meant to know and love, of whom I knew nothing...
      The plot itself gripped me, but due to the nature of the series,
      little time was spent on character development, so I didn't care
      too much about the people involved. There were tons of little events
      and conversations that happened in the past that were clearly meant
      to compare or contrast hilariously with the future counterparts of
      the people involved, but they lacked significance to me. Regardless,
      though, the book was still riddled with comic characters, and
      hilarious one-liners, and I didn't struggle to get through it..."

      icanreadwithmyeyesshut.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/61-night-watch/


      Blogger Jonathan Feinstein reviews the Stephen Briggs audiobook of
      Nation, and the post's title ("If Only Anthropology Classes Were
      Like This!") tells you his opinion of it:

      "The story has heart. It also has a lot of sound anthropological
      theory behind it and yet it is told with both serious respect for
      its subjects and some very funny humor. Most of all, this is a book
      that while entertaining you will also have you thinking about just
      what a nation is and what it takes to make one... Had anyone but
      Stephen Briggs read this it could never have been as enjoyable to
      listen to. I've said in the past that I have never heard Mister
      Briggs read badly and this is certainly no exception. His pacing,
      voices and grasp of Pratchett's expressive writing simply cannot be
      matched. I do not think anyone reads Pratchett as well as Stephen
      Briggs and this is saying something considering his readings have to
      be compared to those of Nigel Planer, Tony Robinson and others whose
      readings I have enjoyed immensely. Perhaps it is the subject matter,
      but I think this was also one of Stephen Briggs' best readings..."

      http://tinyurl.com/cm8k8bz


      ...and blogger Dave Thompson feels the same way about it:

      "A rollicking adventure above and below the cobblestone streets of
      London ensues. And it's a pure, simple, listening delight – the
      kind of book you don't want to stop listening to. This is not a
      retelling of Oliver Twist. Instead, Dodger himself becomes the
      inspiration for one of the characters in that novel, and for a lot
      more of Dickens' work. (Spotting all the Dickensian Easter Eggs in
      this is great fun.) Without a doubt, though, this is a love letter
      to Charlie Dickens, Henry Mayhew, and the working class of London.

      "The plot isn't the most original or complicated, but it's written
      and told expertly. Best of all: the characters are ones I want to
      hang out with over and over again. The relationship between Dodger
      and Charlie crackles – it's just a joy to witness the respect and
      rapport and that builds between them... Dodger is straight-up
      historical fiction. If there's a speculative element to it, it's so
      slight I can't recall it. There's also a certain retro flavor to it
      – not just in the Victorian London setting, but in the way
      Pratchett tells the tale. It's very easy to imagine this as a Guy
      Ritchie film... After listening to Dodger, I'm really excited to
      explore more of Pratchett's work..."

      http://tinyurl.com/cw4maul


      Blogger and writer of children's stories Luke Thomas French was
      delighted by The World of Poo:

      "A lovely little insight into the smells and sounds of Ankh
      Morpork. Reading this reminded me how it felt to get lost in the
      worlds of Enid Blyton and Rupert Bear novels. Pratchett does a
      great job painting just how it feels to be a young boy on a holiday
      adventure. As a big fan of Snuff and all things Discworld, I
      particularly enjoyed the attention to detail: The signature from
      Miss Felicity Beedle to young Sam Vimes; the 'Other titles in this
      series' list; and, of course, the ever-growing collection of poo,
      which excited Young Sam Vimes' imagination so much in Snuff. I did,
      however, find myself feeling a little bit like a tourist on a
      monorail throughout the story. Whilst all the characters were
      charming in their own quirky way, I was hoping my knuckles would
      turn even a slightly lighter shade of pink eventually. It wasn't
      the thrilling ride down Old Treachery I was hoping for, but all in
      all an enjoyable read..."

      http://tinyurl.com/ccw4c5m


      On Bubble Bath Books, bloggers Bubby and Sissy have a rollicking
      conversation about Witches Abroad that is almost as much fun to read
      as the book itself:

      "Sissy: This book is not for people who take themselves too
      seriously. Terry Pratchett is a wickedly funny satirist and overly
      stuffed shirts might find him silly. But as I told my friend the
      other day, if you don't take time for silliness in your life, your
      soul becomes constipated... In Witches Abroad, Pratchett revisits
      many familiar fairy tales. He teaches us about sensible magic and
      manages to crack me up on every page. Even the character names are
      hilarious. I tried to read funny bits out loud to my 17-year-old son
      today and he just looked at me like I was a blooming idiot.

      "Bubby: Yes! That's the same reaction I get from my husband. I own
      almost everything Terry Pratchett has written and I often find his
      books so hooting funny that I laugh out loud. I try to share the
      funniness with my family but they are too closed-minded to
      appreciate dry British humor. That's the disclaimer with these
      books. It seems that a reader will either find them side-splitting
      or just a pain in the side. There doesn't seem to be much middle
      ground. If you appreciate old BBC television shows like 'Fawlty
      Towers' or 'Keeping Up Appearances' then you will enjoy Terry
      Pratchett. If not, well, just move on to the next review...

      "Sissy: Unrestrained frivolity. Monty Python (but more literate and
      less crude) meets The Brothers Grimm meets Sabrina the Teenage
      Witch..."

      http://tinyurl.com/cwmc5uz


      Blogger Barb Drummond makes a general observation on Pratchett and
      underlying truth in great fantasy:

      "Terry Pratchett is one of the world's biggest selling authors,
      though his genre, that of fantasy, is often derided by 'serious'
      writers and critics. But to create a fantasy world as complex as he
      has achieved, takes a level of understanding and skill that leaves
      most authors eating his dust... He does this in part by reading
      history widely. By knowing what did happen, he is better placed to
      create things that may happen, and often shows an extraordinary
      depth of human understanding. That he writes with such humour only
      adds to his genius, and teaches the reader lessons without ever
      noticing them..."

      texthistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/seeking-truth-in-fantasy/


      Blogger and fantasy fan (and mother of a former non-reader)
      humanitysdarkerside is back with her review of A Blink of the
      Screen:

      "I read Pratchett's story from when he was 13 without much hope of
      entertainment. But, you know. There is a reason Pratchett is my
      favorite author. He simply has the gift. And that is the feeling I
      am left with after reading this book. Pratchett does well in a great
      many genres. Death as a disco-lover, football cards, heroes that are
      resurrected, x-mas cards that draw you in, silly laws and
      regulations, alternate earths, evolving chickens, biographies, the
      Discworld: this book has it all. The art of Josh Kirby is excellent.
      Seeing it in such vivid colors is a delight. Like all of
      Pratchett's books, A Blink of the Screen shows the world to me as
      it is. Sure, you have to strip away the fantasy bits first, but the
      people are real in all their glory and horror..."

      http://tinyurl.com/cy6q7d2


      On the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's blog Story Pockets, blogger
      Amy delightedly reviews Where's My Cow?:

      "I'm not sure which I like more about this book, the text or the
      illustrations. I don't visualize characters when I read–it's more
      blur and shadow and general sense–but Vimes and the cast of Ankh-
      Morpork are so vividly and humanly portrayed that I can't picture
      them looking any other way but this. The facial expressions slay me.
      When Vimes takes down Where's My Cow?, you can almost hear Sam
      squealing, with his outstretched arms and toothless joy. Even the
      pet dragon and the teddy bear look attentive, imitating the animals
      along with Vimes. (Ever see a wee dragon try to oink? You've got
      one. And Vimes, if you know Vimes, as a hippo? Hee.) But it's Vimes'
      story that brings down the house. A grinning book flies off the
      shelf, flowers lean forward from a wall painting, and even the
      chickens peer up from the poor chewed board book to spit like
      Coffin' Henry. Here is where older readers of Discworld might
      appreciate the cameos, but again, it's not strictly necessary. You
      don't have to know who Lord Vetinari is to smile at the goofy salute
      Vimes and Young Sam give him, or to know that Sam finds his daddy
      hilarious...

      "The spiri
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