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WOSSNAME -- Main edition -- August 2013

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    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion August 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 8, Post 1)
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 19, 2013
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      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      August 2013 (Volume 16, Issue 8, 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, Alison Not Weatherwax, Steven D'Aprano, L.C.
      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, Kevin
      Emergency Staff: Jason Parlevliet
      World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare
      Copyright 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion



      14) CLOSE



      "Ask yourself how often rockets were going to the Moon in science
      fiction way before we ever did in reality."

      – Pterry, interviewed at the Long War launch



      This is a good month for festivals – and Sir Pterry and his works
      are enlivening some of the best! From an hour of free-form
      conversation with iconic programme creator John Lloyd at the
      Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to an evening on stage at the Brighton
      Reads Festival, to a performance of Steeleye Span's new Wintersmith
      songs at Hever Castle, there is plenty of not-to-be-missed Pratchett
      action for those of you who are in the appropriate "jograffy". See
      item 3 below for details.


      From the Official Voice of Pterrydom, a Raising Steam announcement:

      "** SERVICE UPDATE **

      "We regret to announce a delay in the expected arrival of the new
      service from Discworld. Fuel is being loaded, knobs are being
      polished and engines stoked.

      "RAISING STEAM will arrive into the Roundworld on the new date 7th
      November 2013. We apologise for any delays this may cause to your
      Discworld journey."


      Exciting news for the Pratchett family! This item in from Rhianna's
      Twitter page:

      "This happened to me last night as I sat in my local cinema with
      Louis, his family & 50 strangers. P.S. I said yes!"



      Now read on for plays (including an exclusive presentation of Soul
      Music this week!) and meet-up information, interviews, news, odds
      and ends and all the rest...

      – Annie Mac, Editor




      Sir Terry Pratchett will be in conversation with QI creator John
      Lloyd at AdLib, as part of this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
      Could this be the start of a brief, beautiful relationship involving
      Stephen Fry and the BBC television studios? Hmm...

      When: Thursday 22nd August 2013
      Venue: Edinburgh Fringe Assembly Hall
      Time: 10:30pm (the session will last for an hour)
      Tickets: £17.00 (concessions £15.00)




      Steeleye Span will be appearing at Hever Castle as part of this
      year's Hever Festival.

      "Folk rock pioneers Steeleye Span are coming to Hever Castle at the
      end of the month. The group, whose career has spanned six decades,
      are currently playing live as a six-piece band, and have found
      inspiration in the work of author Terry Pratchett. The two are to
      collaborate on a new project to record an album based on Pratchett's
      Wintersmith novel, which is a tale of ancient rituals and secret
      folk dances, and is planned for release later this year."


      When: Saturday, 24th August 2013
      Venue: Hever Castle, Hever, Kent TN8 7NG
      Time: 8pm (doors open at 6.30pm)
      Tickets: £23 (covered seating) or £15 (grass seating). To book
      online, go to:



      For more info about the festival:


      ...and here be an iconograph of legendary Steeleye lead vocalist
      Maddy Prior with Pterry in the studio during the recording of the
      Wintersmith songs:



      A reminder that Brighton Reads will take place next month!


      "This year's main event sees Sir Terry Pratchett and friends take to
      the stage. Sir Terry is a phenomenon, and despite having a rare form
      of early onset Alzheimer's, he's still writing. Whether you're a
      seasoned Discworld traveller or are just entering the Pratchett
      multiverse, come and celebrate the pleasure of reading with one of
      Britain's best loved writers. Expect conversation, excellent hats,
      readings as well as film excerpts from adaptations.

      "Joining Sir Terry Pratchett will be three friends from his
      multimedia production company, Narrativia. Sir Terry is unable to do
      a signing, but books on sale, courtesy of City Books, will be
      stamped exclusively for this event."

      When: Sunday 29th September
      Venue: Concert Hall, Brighton Dome
      Time: 2pm
      Tickets: £15 (£12 conc) To book by phone, ring (01273) 709709. To
      book online, go to:



      "Join us for a lip-smacking interactive live reading from one of
      Terry Pratchett's bestselling titles. The team behind last year's
      sell out production of Tales from the Spotted Dog are reunited: for
      one night only. Join them for a live reading from Stephen Briggs'
      stage adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Guards! Guards! Expect
      delicious food, live music, locally sourced ale, fun, frolics and a
      modicum of group audience participation from a discreet distance.

      When: Friday 13th September
      Venue: Marquee, Hove Lawns
      Time: 7pm
      Tickets: £24 (including supper). To book by phone, ring (01273)
      709709. To book online, go to:



      "A dragon has been summoned to Jubilee Library. Families are invited
      to come and share the magic of City Reads and add to the dragons
      tail! Join artists to create the terrifying scales for a Guards!
      Guards! inspired dragon. The enormous dragon, by artists Bec Britain
      and Sharon Mee from award winning Same Sky, will take over the main
      hall. Write a message to the Ankh-Morpork dragon, to Terry
      Pratchett, a mini review or add words, phrases and fears!"

      When: Saturday 14th September
      Venue: Jubilee Children's Library
      Time: 11am – 4pm
      Tickets: FREE


      "This perennial City Reads favourite returns to test your knowledge
      on all things bookish. From genre fiction to literary classics; from
      lowbrow to highbrow to no brow at all, there's conundrums and
      brainteasers aplenty for book lovers of all persuasions. There's
      also a special Terry Pratchett round, so pay attention! Come along
      and join a team or bring your own. This event always sells out, so
      book early to avoid disappointment."

      When: Tuesday 17th September
      Venue: The Latest Music Bar (upstairs)
      Time: 7.30pm
      Tickets: £5. To book by phone, ring (01273) 709709. To book online,
      go to:


      For more details:





      Not before time! The Carpet People will finally be published in the
      USA for the first time ever. Release date is 5th November 5 2013:

      "This special edition of Sir Terry Pratchett's hilarious and wise
      first novel features his own illustrations, including never-before-
      published art, and revised text. Also included is an exclusive short
      story written by Terry at age seventeen, before he went on to create
      the phenomenally popular Discworld series and become one of the
      world's most beloved storytellers."


      "First 1,000 fans to send in their pre-order receipt receive a
      deluxe print of Sir Terry Pratchett's art from The Carpet People.
      While supplies last."

      For more details, and to order:


      In the meantime, and if you've not seen these before, here are some
      L-space links to full-page scans of Sir Pterry's original
      illustrations for the 1971 Colin Smythe Ltd edition of The Carpet





      An audio extract of The Long War, as read by Michael Fenton Stevens,
      is available for online listening:



      Whoo-whoo! It's the first image of the Raising Steam cover! By Paul
      Kidby (of course), the cover art features a number of titillating
      touches - rushing train carriages, flying weaponry, and is that a
      guard goblin in the engineer's cab? We'll be guessing for a while
      yet! Follow the link for a peek:


      To pre-order Raising Steam from Amazon UK in hardcover, at a
      special-offer price of £10.00 (even lower than previously
      announced), go to:



      R.I.P. Richard J. Artley.

      "It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of
      Richard J. Artley. Richard was long-time fan of Terry Pratchett, a
      regular attendee at Discworld Conventions both here in the UK and
      abroad and a fabulous storyteller. He was famous for the detailed
      costumes he wore to these events, especially that of Sir Joshua
      Lavish and for his genuine joy at talking to other fans.

      "He was for many years the Discworld Convention Charity Auction
      Clerk and was responsible for auctions that raised many thousands of
      pounds for charity. He was also a Thespian and playwright and had
      adapted some of Terry's Discworld novels for the stage.

      "His passing leaves a hole in Discworld fandom, he will be missed."

      To read this obituary online, go to:

      A photo of Richard as Sir Joshua Lavish, pictured with the one and
      only Colin Smythe at NADWCon 2009:


      Sir Pterry had this to say on his Twitter page upon hearing the

      "Very sad to hear Richard John Artley died today; collector, reader,
      fan, all round good guy and the personification of Sir Joshua
      Lavish. Who could possibly forget his epic adaptation of Colour of
      Magic AND Light Fantastic... performed together in their entirety
      over, what seemed to those lucky souls in the audience, to be at
      least one eternity."


      It's the official Ankh-Morpork passport! You know you want one:

      "The world is your mollusc with the Ankh-Morpork passport – your
      ticket to travel the Discworld, and all you need to validate your
      status as a true citizen of Ankh-Morpork! Each passport features all
      those marvellous little details you'd expect of such an official
      artefact: rounded corners, a gold foil embossed cover individually
      numbered by letterpress, immigration stamps from around the Disc,
      and a 'real' Ankh-Morpork duty stamp fixed inside. Knowing Terry
      Pratchett fans to be nought but trustworthy, each passport is pre-
      endorsed ready for you to fill in your details as honestly, or as
      imaginatively, as you wish. The Passport contains vital information
      on prohibited goods, currency, and work permits along with space for
      stamps should you visit the Discworld Emporium in person, or any
      other place that is silly enough to stamp it."

      Brought to you by the ever-reliable Cunning Artificer, the Ankh-
      Morpork passport measures 100 x 140mm. Priced at £10.00, it's an
      absolute steal! Oh no, wait, that would be a Thieves' Guild

      For more info, and to purchase, go to:



      By Scott McMullon:

      "When it comes to mixing the genre's of high fantasy and science
      fiction with humour, Terry Pratchett is the undisputed master of the
      art. Rather than just generically copy and paste the fantastical
      lands created by his peers, he made it a point to create a world
      that was magical but used it as an avenue to lampoon traditional
      fantasy tropes explored in other mediums. This made his Discworld
      books some of the funniest and most deliciously satirical pieces of
      in the world of literature. With his exquisite wit, Pratchett
      created scenarios that pulled the reader on laughably unusual
      misadventures which almost inadvertently saw the characters of his
      works take up the mantles of heroes when any sensible person would
      have run away...

      "Pratchett's first foray into the Discworld is a terrific
      rollercoaster ride which manages to be funny and thrilling in equal
      measure and shows that this is not a world that is intended to be
      taken seriously, but to be enjoyed which works fantastically. The
      one downside we had with the story is that as a two parter we found
      ourselves itching to get hold of the second book in the series, The
      Light Fantastic, as soon as possible. However, that only proves the
      power of the story that it had us invested in the characters and
      storyline and more than willing to lay our hard earned cash on the
      line to see what happened next..."



      By Leslie Ashmore in the Los Altos Town Crier:

      "Reading certain books can be like listening to a piece of beautiful
      music, with many of the work's themes remaining in the mind long
      after you've finished. 'The Long Earth' (HarperCollins, 2012) by
      Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter is one such book. It should come
      as no surprise, given that the British authors are giants in the
      science fiction and science fantasy genres with more than 100 books
      in their combined list of credits... The real fun of the book
      chronicles the sights and sites Joshua and Lobsang discover on their
      voyage of adventure – all kinds of plants, animals and creatures
      that have evolved on the different versions of the earths... The
      loveliness of the book lies in the low technology and simplicity of
      these worlds, and the descriptions of the different earths and the
      new colonies that people begin to form. I am quite familiar with
      Pratchett's work, and 'The Long Earth' doesn't contain much of his
      sense of humor or wonderful wordplay. It is, however, charming and
      rather utopian in feel, not to mention thought-provoking and fun to




      In Engineering and Technology Magazine, a new interview, conducted
      by Nick Smith at the launch of The Long War. Below are some

      "E&T: How important is it to ensure that you get the internal logic
      of the science, engineering and technology right in the alternative
      realities you create?

      Baxter: I'd say it's very important, if only because the alternative
      is getting it wrong and readers will pick up on that. In the case of
      the Long Earth, although the geography is all invented, we've tried
      to keep it consistent. And so if World 1,000,005 is a certain way,
      it will stay that way.

      Pratchett: Also, you can't have dragons that fly. And that's because
      dragons can't fly on Earth. And so the things that can't happen are
      not allowed to happen...

      E&T: Being an author is traditionally regarded as a solitary
      occupation, but you have collaborated on this sequence. What's it
      like to write with someone else?

      TP: You have to start at the beginning of everything, really. I
      don't know why, but quite a long time ago I had an idea, which
      ultimately was going to be the 'Long Earth' series. And it stayed
      with me quite a long time. I was only just into 'Discworld' at that
      point, and I suddenly had this series of ideas which turned out to
      be 'the voice in the shell', if you know what I mean. And it was
      going to be the Long Earth. I realised that I didn't know enough to
      do it properly. And then I thought: "who do I know that's good at
      quantum stuff?" Within the science fiction world you meet people all
      the time at conventions. I knew Steve and we got talking about it,
      and, well, that was it.

      SB: Where we really collaborate is on generating ideas. So you've
      got the seed from Terry's old material. Some of the characters are
      still there. But it was like the first chapter of a beginning...

      E&T: How important are imagined technological inventions in science
      fiction generally?

      TP: Well, you have to imagine them before you can have them! I read
      lots of science fiction in my youth – and that is exactly the right
      time to do that – and it does start you thinking about things. I'm
      happy I read all that science fiction. But to tell you the truth,
      and I think I talk for the pair of us on this, it's about imagining

      SB: I see this as a virtuous circle. In order to go to the Moon you
      must have the fantasy of going to the Moon, just like the Greeks.
      That then feeds back into people who come later like Jules Verne,
      who imagined a huge cannon. That's vaguely plausible, I suppose, and
      that expressed itself in the 20th century with engineers coming up
      with rockets. But you have to have the vision of going to the Moon
      in the first place, which is where science fiction comes in. It's a
      feedback loop of the imagination.

      TP: You're pulled through it really, because once you've decided
      that something can happen then that in turn leads to the idea that
      something else can follow. And you follow that path. It's a strange
      way of doing things. The first thing that struck me was that from
      now on everyone is going to be richer than any king that has ever
      been. But gold isn't worth anything except that it is very, very
      shiny and you can do things with it. Throughout the life of mankind,
      up to now, everything has been scarce, simply because that is the
      nature of things. In the Long Earth there is no scarcity whatsoever.
      And what does humanity do about that?

      SB: And so the question is what do we do all day when there is no
      need to scrabble to survive?

      TP: We imagined at one point the hunter-gatherers, who more or less
      stay in the same place – possibly where a certain apple tree is –
      going from Earth to Earth...

      E&T: It was the science fiction author from a generation ago, Robert
      Heinlein, who described the genre as being 'realistic speculation
      about future events'. Does that seem a reasonable description of
      your new book?

      SB: It can be that way, but it doesn't have to be. And I think that
      our new book is a case in point. And that's because I don't think
      that we can say that we're expecting to discover the Long Earth
      tomorrow. But it is a resonant metaphor for some of the conditions
      that we can expect to happen. It draws on what we know about the
      multiverse and so on. But I don't think we can predict that it will
      happen this way. Science fiction is like a distorting mirror.

      TP: But you also have to remember that science fiction is like one
      of those things you peddle without actually going anywhere. Just to
      keep your hand in. You know what I mean. An exercise bike or a
      treadmill at the gym. It's never going to take you anywhere, but it
      can certainly beef up the muscles that might do that sooner or

      To read the full interview, go to:




      RICE – the Research Institute for the Care of the Elderly – is
      holding its yearly Memory Trail sponsored walk next month. As
      WOSSNAME readers will remember, Sir Pterry opened the new RICE
      Centre back in 2008. The Memory Trail is a great way for people
      living or visiting in the Bath area to have a lively day out and
      raise funds for Alzheimer's and elderly care research:

      "It is one of the longest running annual charity walks in Bath,
      first taking place in September 1993. The walk is suitable for the
      whole family to join in and each year takes place in the beautiful
      countryside surrounding Bath. The 2013 Memory Trail starts at the
      wonderful medieval market town of Marshfield, 9 miles north of Bath.
      Three walks of 3, 5 or 8 miles will take you through some of the
      Cotswold's most secluded and hidden valleys, steeped in Roman and
      medieval history and stories from the Civil War. The longer walks
      take you through the impressive village of Cold Ashton and the
      beautiful woods and valleys near St Catherine.

      "You can raise sponsorship or just bring yourselves, as your
      contribution through the registration fee is valuable to us.
      Encourage your friends to come as well and visit one of the
      wonderful local hostelries for lunch after your walk. Registration
      is between 10am and 12pm in the Marshfield Church Hall.

      "All entry fees and sponsorship raised goes to RICE for our research
      programme and for supporting and educating carers and families.
      Entry fees are £5 per adult; £2.50 per junior or £12 per family
      and we have a prize for the person who raises the highest

      The RICE Memory Trail 2013 takes place on Sunday 22nd September. To
      download a registration form, go to:


      and send your completed form to: RICE Memory Trail, the RICE Centre,
      Building 8, Royal United Hospital, Bath BA1 3NG

      The fundraising office can be contacted by phone (01225 476435) or
      email (info@...) if you have further questions about the



      Here be a photo of the cast of Monstrous Productions' recent
      presentation of Carpe Jugulum. The performances raised an excellent
      £3,000.00 for Alzheimer's Research UK. Well done, lads, lasses,
      witches and vampires all!




      7.1 NADWCON 2013 REPORT

      From the virtual pen of the lovely Emily Whitten:

      On the Thursday evening of this week, my good friend Erica and I
      hosted a cozy gala in celebration of the Glorious Revolution (of
      Treacle Mine Road, of course. And yes, dear readers, I do realize
      that we are a bit delayed from the traditional celebrations on the
      25th May, but we thought it would be appropriate due to hearing that
      there would be fireworks on the evening of 4th July, for some other
      celebration of the day). It was a smashing sensation, full of good
      company and sprigs of lilac, and yes, even a hard-boiled egg or two.
      We served scumble, a most appealing drink brewed from a recipe
      handed down through my family for many generations, and made of
      apples (well, mostly apples). It is very nutritious, and was
      extremely popular amongst the guests; many of whom did not even
      begin tripping over the furniture or falling down until their second

      On the Friday I was most fortunate to hear several learned scholars,
      including that incomparable novelist of stories for young adults,
      Esther M. Friesner, and the wise reviewer of books for The
      Washington Post, Mr. Michael Dirda, discuss their choices and
      recommendations for literature that fans of the good knight's
      writings might also like to peruse. It was most educational. I
      believe that Mr. Christopher Moore and Mr. Jasper Fforde may have
      been mentioned. We were also privileged on Friday to hear from Sir
      Terry himself, in a message sent from across the ocean via the
      mechanism of moving pictures in combination with some sort of modern
      technological wonder. Later, via that same wonder, the manager of
      Sir Terry's affairs, a Mr. Robert Wilkins, did read to us the
      beginning chapter of the current work in progress, Raising Steam. It
      was most diverting! However, I have been informed that if I share
      any details more than that with you, my good readers, I may soon
      suffer the proverbial 'fate worse than death.' Which I do believe
      involves mimes. I shudder to think, and will therefore keep my
      countenance on this matter.

      On the Saturday I was privileged to be a panelist, along with the
      aforementioned Esther M. Friesner and other knowledgeable ladies, on
      a panel entitled 'Dress to Express,' in which we discussed methods
      of costuming ourselves with both effect and economy. Tips shared by
      the good ladies and myself included the advice to repurpose items
      located in various thrifty shops or originally masquerading as
      bedclothes, curtains, or other large rectangular bolts of fabric (I
      believe a woman named Maria once utilized this technique to great
      effect); to look to hardware stores and to shops available through
      the wonders of technology, such as eBay, Etsy, TrulyVictorian.com,
      Laughing Moon Mercantile, Corset Story, American Apparel and more
      for supplies, items of clothing, patterns, and custom-made items;
      and to examine text references, references from moving pictures and
      moving gaming, and other similar places for inspiration and
      information about costuming details. It was also suggested that one
      might call upon friends with knowledge and skills at variance with
      one's own to give advice, aid, and occasionally custom-made items,
      perhaps in trade for an item made for the friend.

      On the Sunday, yours truly was honored to be inducted into that
      well-established Ankh-Morporkian institution, the Thieves' Guild, by
      the head of the Guild himself, Sir Josiah Boggis; and to receive the
      traditional bowler hat, as well as a new guild name. Those meeting
      me on the street in future while I am engaged in the Guild's
      business may now call me 'Snake Eyes Burke' if they wish, and I will
      happily respond. I was also delighted to hear a wise discussion of
      what it is like to work with Sir Terry on his writings, in a panel
      featuring his esteemed UK agent, Colin Smythe, and his US editors,
      Jennifer Brehl and Anne Hoppe. Most enlightening! Sunday also hosted
      a technologically assisted long-distance discussion with Sir Terry,
      in which he answered questions regarding his wonderful creations.
      The day ended with a most marvelous gala banquet and entertainment
      from all over the Disc, including a quite remarkable aerial and
      acrobatic display by the usually quite sedate Miss Tiffany Aching.

      Monday, alas, was our last day of festivities, but it did allow me
      the time to attend a quite amusing discourse on the world of map-
      making for the Disc and Ankh-Morpork. An alternately rapt and rowdy
      audience was informed that not only will there soon be a new map of
      the Disc coming to us from that historic establishment, The
      Discworld Emporium, but also that at some time in the near future,
      we will be able to purchase deeds for real estate in the great city
      of Ankh-Morpork; complete with a bill of sale and detailed
      description of each property being sold. I have already informed the
      proprietors of my desire for a choice and historical piece of
      property in the most exclusive environs, and expect to soon be able
      to direct everyone to the new address of Ms. Snake Eyes Burke, Esq.
      That concludes my news of Discworldian festivities to this point. I
      hope you have been at least slightly diverted by my report.

      With all sincerity and fond wishes,
      Ms. Emily S. Whitten, Esq.
      a.k.a. Snake Eyes Burke

      To read the original on the web, go to:


      Also, a fairly comprehensive set of Emily's iconographs from NADWCon



      Lucy Millar writes in the Cambridge News:

      "Zombies partied hard in a 'parallel universe' at a sci-fi camping
      festival. Wood Green Animal Shelter in Godmanchester transformed
      into a zombie apocalypse with fantasy enthusiasts covered in flesh
      wounds, murder mystery and a late-night light parade through the
      fields. Wadfest has been invading reality for a weekend of mayhem
      since 2002, but had never taken place in Cambridgeshire before. Rod
      Lupine, co-organiser of this year's family camping festival, near
      Huntingdon, said: 'Wood Green was the perfect location, all our
      regulars loved it. We had an expert face painter who transformed
      people into looking like zombies, with flesh wounds or bits of flash
      hanging off their faces, a bouncy castle, a ship merry go round, a
      game of Zombie Attack which is like bulldog but innocents run around
      with nurf guns to try to catch the zombies, and our trademark game,
      Smack the Penguin.' Around 250 people turned up to get involved in
      the bizarre experience, which also held a charity auction to raise
      funds for Cancer Research UK..."





      "Youth Music Theatre UK presents a brand new musical development of
      Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel, Soul Music – a gripping and witty
      tale for all ages. Directed by Luke Sheppard (Matilda), Soul Music
      is a story about Imp Y Celyn a.k.a 'Buddy' (Welsh for 'bud of the
      holly') and his short-lived yet glamorous musical career fronting
      'The Band with Rocks In'. Join in his adventure as he meets band
      manager Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dribbler and Death's Granddaughter Susan."

      When: Saturday 24th – Sunday 25th August 2013
      Venue: Wilde Theatre, South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell, Berks
      RG12 7PA
      Time: 7.30pm (evening show), 2.30pm (Saturday and Sunday matinees)
      Tickets: £12, Conc £11, Members £10, Under 21s £7. To buy online
      (£1.25 booking fee per sale), go to:

      Box Office:
      +44 (0)1344 484 123


      Nice poster for the production:



      Studio Theatre Club continues its world-famous Discworld stage
      series with a new offering: "The Rince Cycle", dramatised by Stephen
      Briggs. "An adventure based on Terry Pratchett's Rincewind novels
      The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic and snippets of Sourcery."

      When: 26th to 30th November 2013
      Venue: Unicorn Theatre, Old Abbey Buildings, Checker Walk, Abingdon,
      Oxon OX14 3HZ
      Time: 7:30
      Tickets: £8.50. "Tickets won't be on sale until 12 September. We'll
      publish booking details here then."




      As reviewed by Jon Gad:

      "Translating the humor from the page to the stage takes effort, and
      I'm glad to say that in this case the work paid off. Wyrd Sisters
      is good material competently executed... What's complicated about
      this review, however, is that while I did in fact read the book Wyrd
      Sisters, it was many years ago, and I only vaguely recalled that it
      had something to do with a play and witches... let me say that Wyrd
      Sisters was cannily chosen. Not only, as I mentioned in the
      introduction, does the story not require any particular knowledge
      about Discworld or Pratchett's other works, but it also deals with
      the power of theater itself, which works exceptionally well in a
      theater setting...

      "The acting varies from competent to excellent, with Susan
      Wingerter's Nanny Ogg in particular being almost exactly how I'd
      pictured her character from the books. I also found Shantelle
      Szyper's Duke Felmet to be surprisingly sympathetic for the nominal
      villain of the piece, and the running gag about her hands was nicely
      played. That does bring up an interesting aspect to the production.
      Wyrd Sisters has an all female cast, but doesn't make a big deal
      about that fact. After a conversation with the production's
      artistic director, I learned that the all female cast wasn't a
      conscious decision to play it that way... The production is intimate
      and minimalist, by which we mean it is held in a small room with
      little in the way of complicated sets. But that's alright. It means
      that even someone in the furthest row of seats, as I myself was, is
      far closer to the action than anyone would normally expect in a
      larger and more expensive theater..."




      Every Discworld fan – and Discworld opera fan – and, for that
      matter, fans of WOSSNAME's own peripatetic astrologer Fernando
      Magnifico – knows about Brindisi. According to the entry on
      Brindisi at lspace.org, "The country is near-tropical, rimward and
      turnwise of Genua and includes a peninsula into the Gulf of
      Brindisi. Brindisi is three thousand miles across the continent from
      Ankh-Morpork, but its language is obviously derived from Latatian,
      so it was likely an outpost of the Morporkian Empire. Brindisian
      immigrants contribute much to the Artistic and Food Service
      Industries in Ankh-Morpork. The Brindisian language is not widely
      spoken there, but it is common in restaurants and at the opera."

      But what perhaps not so many people know is that there is a *real*
      Brindisi on Roundworld, and it's a famous place, although perhaps
      not so well known for opera.

      Brindisi, "Gateway to the East", is a town of some 90,000 souls in
      the Apulia region of Italy on the Adriatic coast. Once known as
      Brundisium and a major port of the Roman Empire – significantly,
      the Appian Way terminates at the harbour – and later an essential
      stop along the Silk Road trade route, Brindisi is even to this day
      an important ferry port for ferries to and from Greece, and even
      boasts an international airport.

      Brindisi is rich in history, both real and romantic. According to
      legend, Brindisi was founded by Diomedes, companion of Odysseus. It
      became a Roman town in 266BCE, and later was a base of resistance
      against the campaign of Hannibal. No household names were born there
      in ancient times, but the poet Virgil ended his days there in 19BCE,
      and more recently Brindisi had the honour of serving as temporary
      capital of Italy between September 1943 and February 1944. With its
      excellent natural harbour, low, sandy coastline and mild climate, it
      was also a prime target: in its long history it was conquered by the
      Ostrogoths, reconquered by the Byzantine Empire, destroyed by the
      Lombards, rebuilt (partly by the Saracens), stormed by pirates,
      conquered by the Normans, taken by then by Venice, and later by

      Brindisi was known for the cult of Tarantismo which combines pagan
      and Christian tradition. According to Wikipedia, "In the past it was
      believed that women who showed forms of hysteria were infected by
      the bite of a Lycosa tarantula. The only known remedy was to dance
      continuously for days, so that the poison did not cause greater
      effect. Through music and dance was created a real exorcism in
      musical character. Each time a tarantato exhibited symptoms
      associated with Taranto, the tambourine, fiddle, mandolin, guitar
      and accordion players went in the house of the tarantato and began
      to do to play the pinch music with frenetic rhythms."

      These days Brindisi is a well-known holiday destination, mainly for
      Italians, and has significant presence in the chemical and
      aerospace industries. In addition to a number of Roman-era ruins,
      Brindisi also possesses an 11th-century cathedral and 13th-century
      castle, two universities, and several museums... but no, no opera

      Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Wikipedia, italia.it, others



      The Pratchett Partisans are a new fan group who meet monthly at
      either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all
      things Pratchett". For more info about their next meetup, go to


      or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@...

      Some upcoming Pratchett Partisans events of note:

      Night Games at KG Square

      "Join us for some fantastic games in the city – including Ankh
      Morpork the board game. There will probably be huge chess, massive
      connect 4 and large scrabble as well as a selection of board and
      card games available. Meet at Groove train for coffee or dinner

      When: Thursday 29th August 2013
      Venue: Groove Train, King George Square, 100 Adelaide St, Brisbane,
      Time: 5:30pm


      Black Friday: celebrating Witches, Assassins and Mrs Cake's hat

      "Come one, come all to the first every Black Pub/cafe night. Make
      sure you wear a black costume (eg assassin) or black hat (Wizard,
      Witch or Mrs Cake) and join us for black trivia, black drinks and
      possibly black food. Friends and Family most welcome. Gold coin
      donations gratefully accepted."

      When: Friday 13th Sep 2013
      Venue: Mick O Malleys Irish Pub, Wintergarden centre, Queen Street
      mall, Brisbane, QLD
      Time: 6:00pm


      The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club is a group for fans
      in Adelaide and South Australia. TCoSGTPFC meets on the last
      Thursday of the month from 6.30pm at the Ed Castle, 233 Currie St.
      Their next meeting will be on Thursday 29th August 2013. Details,
      discussions and organisation of extra events (e.g. as play outings)
      can be found via their email mailing list; to sign up, go to:


      TCoSGTPFC will also be hosting a special one-night-only event this
      coming November:

      "The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club presents 'QUIZ LONG
      AND PROSPER' – a Science Fiction & Fantasy themed Quiz Night!"

      When: 26th October 2013
      Venue: Clarence Gardens Bowling Club, Winona Ave, Clarence Gardens,
      South Australia
      Time: 7pm
      Tickets: $15 Adult / $12 Concession, tables of 8. To book tables,
      email: RoundWorldEventsSA@...

      For more information, go to:


      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 5th September 2013, but do
      email (see below) to check. All new members and curious passersby
      are very welcome! For more info and any queries, contact:



      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 6th September 2013.


      The next meeting of the Broken Drummers, London's original Discworld
      meeting group, will be from 7pm on Monday 2nd September 2013 at the
      Monkey Puzzle, 30 Southwick Street, London W2 1JQ. Note the new web


      Here be the Broken Drummers' August 2013 meet report:

      "I am happy to report that last night had a very good turnout. We
      also saw two members who have not been for a long time. The first
      was Naomi, the second was our revered founder Jack, who arrived
      later on. It was great to catch up with both. Tim W was finally able
      to do his quiz (those of you who stayed away out of fear are safe to
      come out). He took a novel approach, a general knowledge quiz on
      Sams and Sybils. References ranged from Sybil Fawlty to Samuel
      Beckett (both the playwright and the Quantum Leap character).
      Jessica won and was presented with a humourous wind-up Dracula.

      "The conversation was dominated by discussions of Wadfest and the
      Nine Worlds Geekfest, both this weekend. Most people present were
      going to one or the other. It was a lively evening and a few of us
      ended up staying until closing time. Jack regaled us with
      disreputable tales of gentlemen drug dealers and Mark persuaded me
      to try Nobby's Nuts, a product no self-respecting Discworld fan
      should ever want to consume.."

      For more information write to BrokenDrummers@... or


      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:



      Drummers Downunder meet on the first Monday of every month in Sydney
      at Maloneys, corner of Pitt & Goulburn Streets, at 6.30pm. The next
      meeting will (probably) be on Monday 2nd September 2013. For more
      information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax):



      Perth Drummers meet on the traditional date of first Monday of the
      month. The next meeting should be on Monday 2nd September 2013.


      Please note we have moved to San Churro this month from 5.30pm (San
      Churro, 132 James Street, Northbridge, Perth, WA).

      For details follow us on Twitter @Perth_Drummers and Facebook

      Otherwise message Krystel directly at khewett@...



      Is this the best way ever to attend a charity fundraising motorcycle
      rally? Quite possibly, if you want to (not) join the Royal British
      Legion Riders Branch for their very special 2013 Non Attendance

      "The RBLR has arranged for the NAR not to take place this year at
      Hyde Park in the cosmopolitan city of Ankh-Morpork on the Discworld.
      Headlining the relay's entertainment will be The Band With Rocks In,
      supported by The Whom, Dwarfs With Altitude, &U, The Blots, and
      Supporting Bands."

      Sounds too good to be true? Well... back over to the RBLR for an

      "So what is a non-attendance rally? It's pretty much exactly that.
      It's a rally where you pay for a ticket then don't go. Its a really
      good idea not to go, because if you do, there will be no-one else
      there! The basic concept is a charity fundraiser. All profits from
      the NAR will be donated to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

      "So what's happening there? Absolutely nothing! There are no bands,
      no DJs or silly games.

      "You can buy your ticket for this year's NAR by completing the
      application form and sending it to the address printed with your
      donation of £5.00 (UK) or £6.00 (The rest of the world) or you can
      pay via PayPal (additional costs apply). See the links below to
      order your ticket to this great non-event now!!!

      "For your donation, you will receive an enamel 'I didn't attend'
      badge and a certificate (signed, numbered and with your name) soon
      after we receive your payment. "This non-event is brought to you by
      Sir Terry Pratchett."

      There are buttons on the page for donation via PayPal UK and PayPal
      Rest of the World, plus a link button for downloading the paper
      application form. For more information contact Iddy: email

      Non-U.K. residents wishing to not attend, er, to donate can email
      Iddy to discuss individual postal arrangements: nonuk@...

      To view the lovely announcement poster on the web:

      A list of rally rules, kindly provided by the organisers (and
      reprinted here with all original grammar and spelling intact):

      1. Hyde Park is neutral territory in Ankh-Morpork. There aren't many
      places in the city where you can't be robbed and/or killed, but the
      park is one of them. Even the worst of criminals likes a nice place
      to have a picnic.

      2. If you wish to go outside the park and get robbed, please make
      sure you see his or her Thieves Guild licence, and get a receipt.

      3. Don't pet the wolf. She's a Captain in the City Watch and she

      4. Eating a Dibblers Sausage inna bun is done so at your own risk.

      5. The exchange rate is €1.00 to $1.00 AM. (there's a 100 pennies
      to 1$AM)

      6. Foul Ole Ron, Coffin Henry, the Duck Man, Arnold Sideways,
      Altogether Andrew will leave if you pay them otherwise you'll never
      get rid of them.

      7. This event is only possible due to the patronage of Lord Havelock
      Vetinari, the current Patrician of Ankh-Morpork. Please afford him
      every courtesy should he visit the site.

      8. Anyone visiting the Shades for Mrs Palm's, or Harga's House of
      Ribs diner or Grabpot Thundergust's cosmetic mill and the Streets of
      Perfume Blenders. Should note it's best to be out of the area before
      nightfall as it can get a little rough.

      9. The Mended Drum [is] a popular drinking house please remember to
      go tooled up it can get a little rough.

      10. And finally Sir Terry Pratchett has offered to organise some
      guided tours of the city. Please take the opportunity to go on one
      of his tours. He is a font of knowledge about the customs and
      history of the city. His assistance as acting as a go-between with
      the locals is what's made this year's Non-Attendance Rally possible.

      To view a facsimile of the list:




      Great concepts can come in small packages – here be a beautifully
      rendered Discworld... cupcake! By Discworld fan-cum-baker Tessa


      Swimming orangutans prefer the breaststroke:


      A video of an orangutan being born. Lovely!


      Markku Simonen's amazing Terry Pratchett pipe:


      The very brave Peter Nilsson has Feegles running up his leg:




      Blogger Olga Godim reviews Men at Arms:

      "This novel was a joy to read. The second in the Watch sub-series,
      it is as much a fantasy as a mystery. People often die in Ankh-
      Morpork, mostly from suicide (walking along some of the city streets
      after dark is definitely suicidal), but now a series of murders have
      been committed. Sam Vimes, the Captain of the Night Watch, starts
      the investigation, and various complications spring in his way with
      predictable regularity. The plot of this novel is just a pencil
      sketch, a colorless collection of events without much value of their
      own. What brings colors to this story, animates it, makes it a
      masterpiece of wisdom and laughter is its characters... Once in a
      while, there comes a book where a secondary character steals the
      show as soon as he appears on the page. By the sheer power of his
      personality, such a character often goes against his creator's
      intentions and becomes a protagonist on his own. That's Carrot. As
      soon as he steps into a scene, any scene, he becomes its star,
      outshining everyone else. With his absurd faith in the universal
      decency and his inability to understand sarcasm, he should've been
      pathetic and ludicrous, but he is neither. His naive magnetism is
      alluring, and the readers, along with everyone else in Ankh-Morpork,
      inevitably fall under his spell. We all want to believe in our own
      untarnished virtue..."


      ...and also reviews Going Postal:

      "Moist is an unlikely hero. Neither super brave nor overly strong,
      he doesn't command armies, wield a sword, or defeat monsters.
      Instead, he's a genius with charm and people skills, a true conman
      with a smidgen of honesty, in short, a decent government official.
      Bureaucracy is his trade. His brilliant brain is his weapon. He
      succeeds at impossible tasks by employing unorthodox methods and
      showmanship. Sometimes, he's not even proud of his twisted
      solutions, but nothing nice would work against his corrupt enemies.
      So he wins his battles by outsmarting the opposition and exploiting
      stupidity. A conman at his best! It was a rare joy to read about
      Moist – one of my favorite fantasy heroes. Don't you just love a
      scoundrel with scruples? The rest of the characters are as colorful
      as you would expect of Terry Pratchett. The good guys and gals are
      not perfect; they all have some rather obnoxious quirks that make
      them real, like your coworkers. On the other hand, the bad guys are
      so bad, you only need to read the latest corporate scandal in
      Huffington Post to recognize them..."


      Blogger Anna Nguyen aka bookinsomnia is excited about having just
      bought Going Postal and Unseen Academicals:

      "Anyone who knows me personally, knows I'm a huge Terry Pratchett
      fan. I read one of his books in seventh grade and now I'm a life
      long devotee. For some strange reason, Terry Pratchett books are the
      ONLY books I cannot buy used. I just get so excited knowing that I
      was the first one to break in my copy of a Pratchett novel... One of
      my favorite Discworld novels is Reaper Man, which featured DEATH and
      the Wizards. The reason why I picked up Reaper Man is because
      Pratchett's Grim Reaper is one of the most interesting, and
      complicated characters in the Discworld universe. I was pleasantly
      surprised when the Wizards of the Unseen University stole the show.
      After watching Congress for the last few years, I never thought I
      would find powerful, senile, old, white men so entertaining, but I
      was wrong. Looking forward to finding out how well an orangutan
      plays football (my guess is very well)..."


      ...and here is her review of Unseen Academicals:

      "I was relentlessly sucked into Discworld once more! Really, I think
      Terry Pratchett is the one to blame here, darn him and his amazing
      story telling abilities... Ok, I will say that this is not my
      favorite Discworld, which was even more disappointing because I was
      so hyped up to love it. Ever since Reaper Man, I have had a strong
      affinity for the wizards of Ankh-Morpork. While Glenda, Trevor,
      Juliet, and Mr. Nutt are fine characters, they did not have the
      charisma to outshine the wizards. I might have been intrigued the
      mysterious Mr. Nutt in the beginning of the book, but by the end I
      found the quartet rather tiresome. I read Pratchett because his
      characters are so engaging, and I am sorry that I was not able to
      strongly feel for the four main protagonist in the book. Maybe
      because they are so closed to my age, and their own confusion and
      bewilderment about who they want to be hits too close to home.
      Either way, I cannot give the 37th Discworld novel 5 stars. However,
      what salvages the novel is the plot... even someone as challenged as
      me in the field of sports, can appreciate the slow discovery of
      soccer by the rambunctious and hilarious cast of characters..."


      Blogger Evren Turan gives Mort a very high rating:

      "It is like all Discworld novels an incredibly funny book that
      bubble along light and cheerfully while still managing to interest
      you in the story and characters. This is one of the best Discworld
      books and is a very good example of why Terry Pratchett was knighted
      for his services to literature... This is one of the most funniest
      of Pratchett's books; given that they are all hilarious this book
      gaurrentees many moments hilarity..."


      Blogger toppersbooks enjoyed the Small Gods audiobook:

      "...the narrator, Nigel Planer, talks a tad too fast. I really loved
      him but I wish he talked about 25% slower. It looks like he narrates
      most of Pratchett's books (or at least the two I've downloaded so
      far), so I would definitely give him a listen before buying – make
      sure it's something you can put up it... This is religious satire
      and religious satire at its best. I love the way Pratchett deftly
      separates believing from participating, no matter how fervently, in
      organized religion. Don't worry; he gets in a few well-placed jabs
      at atheists as well as priests, brothers, and overly religious
      grandmothers. The critiques are sometimes aimed at the gods –
      after all, in the Discworld, gods are much like people – but the
      majority comes from human interpretation of the god's will, fair
      game and always relevant. Pratchett manages to comically expose how
      much humans have misinterpreted the gods' will in general and, using
      the truthful and steadfast Brutha as a foil, how little the current
      interpretation of Om's will has to do with Om's actual will...
      Pratchett's work, if you let it, challenges the meanings of faith,
      religion, and belief and satirizes how things are done or have been
      done in much of the Abrahamic traditions for most of written
      history. Fun and easily digestible, certainly, but easy to find
      yourself thinking about it seriously as well. You'll never feel like
      he's forcing a point down your throat; rather you'll find yourself
      laughing at an exaggerated point that has described exactly how you
      felt at one time or another. It's a great satire – using humor to
      both mask and make his point. If you want only an easy and fun read
      out of it, you'll get only that. If you'd like to read further in,
      you certainly can. The best of both worlds..."


      On the Philosophia discussion site, blogger Liam Killingly talks
      about Discworld gods, belief, theology and Pratchett's humanistic
      views of the supernatural:

      "The various gods are used as metaphors for both powerful human
      beings as well as for organised religion in general. This is best
      shown in lifecycle of gods who exist as powerless microscopic
      spirits who are strengthened by human imagination that allows them
      to transform into ancient Greek-style gods. If they are forgotten
      the gods shrivel back to their former state, resulting in the gods
      needing human worship to stay alive. This means that the gods
      function as a metaphor for organised religion... The powerful gods
      are depicted living on mount Dunmanifestin (like Mount Olympus)
      where they entertain themselves by treating the mundane world as
      giant board game where humans are simply game pieces and props. The
      lesser gods are obsessed with their own morality and obtaining
      power, committing atrocities in order to gain become safe. All gods
      shown are utterly amoral, caring nothing about the lives of other
      lesser beings. This critique is so effective because it is based in
      exaggerating real religious ideas of gods..."


      Blogger paperwanderings was impressed by Monstrous Regiment:

      "Some Discworld novels are more interesting than others, and this is
      definitely one of my favorites. I do have a weak spot for gender-
      bender plots, but this plot... this plot thinks BIG. Sure, Polly is
      living in backwards Borogravia, who needs to masquerade as a guy to
      find her brother Paul, but... think BIG. Supersize everything.
      International politics, gender relations, identity, interpersonal
      relations, humor, WAR. What is the soldier's prayer? Why do people
      fight? There is a lot more to the story than that one skinny
      sentence. You'll love the characters (a vampire addicted to coffee,
      a devil of a sergeant, prevalent badassery), but the plot weaves
      them together to make you crazy. Because crazy is a step above love.
      They always say his novels are satire, and I am never quite sure of
      what that means, but Monstrous Regiment definitely makes me


      Bilingual blogger mervih is back with a review of the Finnish
      translation of Feet of Clay:

      "When Cheery adds more feminine things to her outfit, we find out
      that a few of the other dwarven constables are also women, they just
      haven't drawn any attention to it. Apparently, among dwarfs is
      indecent to show ankles. However, the more serious parts of the book
      concentrate on the golems. They aren't considered to be alive so
      they are used as slave labor which can work all the time and don't
      have to be paid. And yet, a lot of people think they are creepy and
      know that they are up to no good. Vimes also muses about people who
      obey the law and who don't, and about rich and poor people. He's
      trying to adjust to life as a rich man and being miserable.

      "This is another enjoyable Discworld book. I particularly enjoyed
      the breads, cakes, and cupcakes used for fighting and the vampire
      who works in various normal, but hazardous to him, jobs. Oh, and
      poor Vimes is plagued by his new organizer. And of course everyone
      likes Carrot..."


      Blogger guildedearlobe reviews the audiobook of The Long War, as
      read by Michael Fenton Stevens:

      "The Long War tried too hard to be something it wasn't, a plot
      driven science fiction novel, when there was nothing wrong with what
      it actually was, a concept driven novel of exploration... I loved
      The Long Earth. It was a brilliant concept and tapped that little
      inkling inside of everyone for the opportunity to just start over on
      a new adventure... The worlds that Pratchett and Baxter created
      opened what seemed like a playground for authors, an infinite amount
      of worlds for an infinite amount of stories. Yet, I sort of felt
      like I felt about Eric Flint's 1632 series, It's a great place for
      stories, but attempting to push that story, and those characters
      beyond the first few novels just felt like a misuse of potential. In
      The Long Earth, I felt that story was told. Those characters
      explored in full, and attempting to extrapolate more plot points set
      up in The Long Earth may ruin the original concept of the novel.
      Because, a sequel isn't about further exploration of a writer's
      world, but the progression of the story. I would have been down with
      more books within those worlds, in fact, I think that would be
      awesome... This was a hard one for me. I really liked some aspects,
      and will definitely pick up the third novel in the series. The
      ending offered some interesting directions for the series. My major
      problems was the book tried too hard to be something it wasn't, a
      plot driven science fiction novel, when there was nothing wrong with
      what it actually was, a concept driven novel of exploration..."


      ...while blogger Kirsty White admitted to not liking science fiction
      that has any actual science in it, but still managed to get through
      The Long Earth:

      I hate science. I admit to being one of the few sci-fi fans that
      doesn't get science. I'm quite capable of sitting through a sci-fi
      film and just watching for the hell of it. I rarely pay attention to
      what's plausible and what would make sense in the real world. I tend
      to prefer though more fantasy based stories. Give me vampires and
      middle-earth over quantum physics any day... The idea behind the
      story is a good one. I like the idea of starting afresh somewhere
      far away from inner cities and civilisation. I'm sure many people
      feel the same way. I just wish I understood the quantum behind this
      particular one. Having said that, I know full well I will read the
      rest. You can't start a trilogy without completing it no matter how
      hard the subject matter..."


      ...while blogger Lisa Spiral, who came upon The Long War without
      having first read The Long Earth, is very much impressed by the
      science parts:

      "It wasn't what I expected. This is clearly meant to be a series,
      and the timeline between books is sequential and the characters
      repeat. But, I was entirely engaged in the world as it was
      presented in this novel alone. There is a lot going on, and I'm
      sure it would be easier with the first book under my belt. However,
      I must admit that this book stands on its own. (But darn it now I'm
      going to have to go back and read the first one anyway.) The
      Discworld is written as a fanciful tongue in cheek commentary. The
      books comment on our dearly held institutions like the Post Office
      (Going Postal), religions (Small Gods), and hot button issues (Equal
      Rites). Discworld doesn't even take itself seriously (The Wee Free
      Men). The Long War is more classically science fiction. It still
      has social commentary themes (environmentalism and racism) as is
      common in the genre. It isn't lacking internal humor, but it is not
      the comedy many Pratchett fans expect... I really enjoyed the multi-
      verse premise. I was familiar with the potential for a Yellowstone
      'super volcano' going in, so the environmental sidebar was easy to
      follow. I do think that with this kind of expanded universe it's
      not long before a series becomes dependent on the reader having
      familiarity with previous books. Pratchett and Baxter haven't hit
      that point yet, and maybe they won't..."


      Blogger bookclub41 praises Pratchett in general and the Discworld
      witches in particular:

      "Sir Terry Pratchett is the author/creator of one of the greatest
      fantasy fiction universes of ALL TIME. The world – known as the
      Discworld – that he created, is populated by well drawn, complete
      and complex characters. His narratives are multi-layered,
      unpredictable, intellectual, and humorous. The humour itself is a
      masterclass in how to work jokes into a story without been obvious
      or, not funny at all. I have read most if not all the books within
      the Discworld series, but am by no means an expert. There is so
      much detail within each book, and throughout the who series, that
      the mind truly boggles... My mum, brother and I are all fans and
      have big nerdy conversations about the characters and the jokes we
      find amusing. The other day in one of these convo's me and mum were
      talking about how hard it was to choose a favourite character, or at
      least a top ten. So, I thought I would try to come up with a vague
      list, and hopefully inspire those who haven't read his books, to try
      one out! I was initially going to list a few characters from
      different series, but this just didn't do them any kind of justice.
      So I'll pick a series, some characters and some books, and revisit
      this topic sometime in the future with a different lot. The
      characters are numerous and I couldn't just reduce them to one
      sentence of description..."


      ...and finally, blogger Anna Roberts thoroughly enjoyed Dodger and
      "his" London:

      "This book is great for getting to know this character who you hope
      turns out to be a goody, while also teaching you a bit of history.
      Terry Pratchett knowingly stretched some facts a little, but
      generally the novel is set in early Victorian times and describes
      the sights, sounds and atmosphere of London at that time
      brilliantly. The character, Dodger, is a 'tosher' by trade i.e.
      scavenging in sewers for money and jewellery and anything else
      shiny. He works in the sewers of London and lives in Seven Dials
      near Covent Garden. He talks about how he hasn't been to some other
      areas of London; areas which are so familiar to me and seem so close
      if you go by tube... The novel also features prominent characters
      (real and fictional) from that era, such as Sweeney Todd, Henry
      Mayhew, Angela Burdett-Coutts and Charles Dickens. Using these well-
      known people in the novel rounds up other literary tales into this
      one tale very nicely. I often think what if the characters in, for
      instance, Eastenders and The Bill met? I feel like I know them so
      well and wonder who would get on with who, who would fancy who? (I
      think it's only mine whose mind works that way!) Terry Pratchett
      does this with the Victorian version of these people..."



      14) CLOSE

      ...and that's the lot for the moment, though we might see you again
      this month. Still searching for our missing Fernando... Take care!

      – Annie Mac


      The End. If you have any questions or requests, write:
      Copyright (c) 2013 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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