Good News

28 June 2017 12:38
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently? Are you anticipating any more?
madfilkentist: The Catmobile at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
When I got to the kitten room Joni Mitchell was at the door, looking as if she wanted to be on the other side. I used a broom to make sure she couldn't get through; I wasn't going to risk putting a hand or foot in reach. Once she got food, she was in a slightly better mood.

The star for today was a black, cage-climbing kitten named Diadem. She's everything you'd expect a kitten to be: cute, friendly, and extremely active, making a mess of her cage. Virginia put her in a carrier while cleaning the cage. There wasn't much else to do, since we didn't want her running among the big cats.

And there were some very big kitties this week. Bongo (long cat) is still there. There was a gray cat who sat in the bathroom sink and filled it completely. There was also a tortoise-shell named Shasta, whose name I didn't know at first, but who answered to "Hübsche Katze" (pretty cat) when I called her that.

Vin Diesel was in a particularly bad mood, and Virginia and I both got slight scratches from him. He jumped me from behind when I was sweeping up spilled cat food. Maybe he thought I should have left it there.

Drive-by posting

28 June 2017 17:50
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
I'm frantically trying to finish a bunch of work before I go on holiday for two weeks in July, so time for blog is very limited. I'm hoping to have lots of leisurely catch-up time to post things like photos from Vienna and Spain.

Worst thing that happened today: I forgot my glasses on the counter by the mirrors in the ladies' toilets at Birmingham New Street Station. I realised this at exactly the moment my train to London was moving away from the platform.

Best thing that happened today: I received an e-mail alert titled "hggggggfgfg", which I assumed meant, "ALERT: Engineer's Cat Has Walked Across Their Keyboard." It was later claimed that this alert was issued because of "testing", which I can only mean "testing for robustness of cat-proof-ness", a test which the system has surely failed.

In conclusion, I give you the most recent studio portraits that nursery had done of the children (late April).
SCAN0170
[Studio portrait of Humuhumu and Keiki smiling together. Humuhumu has her peach-framed glasses on.]

Why am I still awake.

29 June 2017 02:15
tyger: Axel, Roxas, and Xion, on the clocktower. (Axel Roxas and Xion - clocktower)
[personal profile] tyger
Seriously brain, why. Why you do this to me.

Ni-chan's grandmother passed away this morning, so that kinda sucked. Surprisingly, this is cut for talking about death. )

Apart from that kind of a nothing day. Played some Feel the Snow but not much because UGH BOSS FIGHT I AM SO BAD AT IT. Tried to play two of my new games from the Steam sale, but UGH BUGS - one is a glitchy graphics issue (which I apparently have a lot better than some people, who just get a pink screen, but I'd rather not suffer through it, either), and the other is an old game that won't go into windowed mode and is gross and stretched on my screen - not ratio-stretched, just. It was small and now it is big and you can see the fuzz of pixels, sort of shit. SO THAT WAS ANNOYING.

Anyway, it's ridiculous o'clock, I'mma... go to bed. Yes.

"Troll's Dick" vandalized

28 June 2017 11:06
thnidu: cat staring out at you, photoshopped into wild colors (Pow Wow cat)
[personal profile] thnidu
Via Quartz

Norwegians raising funds to fix popular penis-shaped rock formation
June 25, 2017 (AP)

Activists are collecting money to repair a penis-shaped rock formation in southern Norway after the popular tourist attraction was found badly damaged.

The rock formation Trollpikken in Rogaland, western Norway. EPA/Ingve Aalbu

Joggers discovered Saturday that the Trollpikken rock formation had cracked and noted drilling holes in the rock – something that experts say strongly suggests the rock was deliberately vandalized.

By Sunday, over 500 people had donated nearly 90,000 Norwegian kroner ($10,600) to fix the formation located south of the southern coastal city of Stavanger.

Activist Kjetil Bentsen told public broadcaster NRK that he was convinced the Trollpikken “will be rebuilt” with donated money.

Police are looking for tips to find the person or persons who did it. They could face a one-year prison sentence for a serious environmental crime.



klgaffney: (Default)
[personal profile] klgaffney
The twins started the morning by coming into our room and yelling Evanescence at the top of their lungs around 8:00 am. I share because I care.

Daily Toss for 06-28-2017. )
aldersprig: (Cooking)
[personal profile] aldersprig


🥗
So we tried a thing last night and it actually turned out well!

We had ground beef to eat and it was way too hot for eating spaghetti or hamburgers or anything too hot.
Available for all "Recipe Box" patrons!




Originally posted June 16, 2011.
🐟
The sushi bar had a mermaid in its fish tank.

I was new in town, having just recently parlayed my experience with the Agency into a cushy consulting gig and my hazard pay into a nice little house...

Read on!




These are walking onions. They make bulbs on the top of their stalks, which make another stalk with another bulb, which makes… you guessed it, another stalk with another bulb!!

Take a Peek!

Reading Wednesday 28/06

28 June 2017 13:42
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
Recently read: Too like the lightning by Ada Palmer. I borrowed [personal profile] jack's copy to read this for the Hugos. It's thinky and original, but also rather unpleasant.

detailed review )

Currently reading: All the birds in the sky by Charlie Jane Anders. Partly because it's Hugo nominated and partly cos several of my friends were enthusiastic about it. I'm a bit more than halfway through and finding it very readable and enjoyable. Patricia and Laurence are really well drawn as outcast characters and their interaction is great. It feels very Zeitgeisty, very carefully calculated to appeal to the current generation of geeks. The style is sort of magic realist, in that a bunch of completely weird fantasy-ish things happen and nobody much remarks on them. I find that sort of approach to magic a bit difficult to get on with, because it appears completely arbitrary what is possible and what isn't, so the plot seems a bit shapeless.

Up next: I'm a bit minded to pick up Dzur by Steven Brust, because I was enjoying the series but very slowly, and it's been really quite a few years since I made progress with it.
nou: The word "kake" in a white monospaced font on a black background (Default)
[personal profile] nou posting in [community profile] flaneurs

I only managed one attempt at the June challenge this year: a modified version of Theme II.(a): Lines.

The full version of this challenge involves starting at a railway terminal and walking outwards from the terminus, following one of the railway lines as closely as possible. I’ve been doing this in stages from West Croydon Station to London Bridge Station, and this month I did a new stage.

I was originally going to walk from Tulse Hill to East Dulwich, but my lungs were playing up so I stopped at North Dulwich; i.e. I only walked one stop. Here’s a map showing my route so far (plus the bit I intended to but didn’t walk, which will be done next time), and here’s a photoset including all stages so far.

I photographed quite a lot of railway bridge identifiers on this one, since [personal profile] secretlondon and I are collecting them, and railway line walks are a very good source. My favourite photo is the one below, showing the premises of a “Fibrous Plaster Specialists”.

A view through a square brick-lined tunnel to an open passageway and buildings at the far end.  A dilapidated sign on the left wall reads “19a / E J Harman & Co Ltd / Fibrous Plaster Specialists / 19a Birkbeck Hill SE21 8JS”.

Someone came out just after I took it and asked me why I was taking photos. They seemed a bit offended by my use of the phrase “old sign”, oops. They were very keen to make it clear that the business is still going!

More silliness

28 June 2017 04:32
kengr: (Pinky)
[personal profile] kengr
This was a throwaway idea for a Whateley fanfic. Probably not possible even in that universe, but too silly not to go with. I decided to post it after [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith made a particular comment on someone's story.

Sandy was waiting for the last of the new batch of freshmen to show up so zie could take them on the tour. There was a zweet-boing noise from behind zir. Zie turned just in time for the human-sized roadrunner to startle zir with a loud "Meep! Meep!"

Zie was still boggling when the bird held up a sign with one wing. [Hi! I'm Velox.]

The sign flipped around and read [Is this the orientation tour for Twain?] Then it vanished.

"Uh, yeah. What's with the signs?"

[I can't talk anymore. Just make that sound.] flip [But I can manifest these signs] flip [Neat, huh?]

Sandy just shook zir head. Even for Whateley, Velox was a bit odd.

The last few freshmen showed up, and zie started the tour. After showing them the required places and things it came time for the usual "what's your power and how did you get it" talk.

Velox demonstrated his speed. The cloud of dust he raised was weird because it'd rained just that morning.

[Besides being fast, I'm either a reality warper...] flip [... or a probability warper.] flip [Weird stuff happens around me.]

[Don't EVER bring anything made by Acme near me!] flip [no way to tell what'll happen.] flip [but it won't be good for you.]

"What's with your code name?"

He held up a sign with a picture of a bird captioned [Lesser Roadrunner (Geococcyx velox)]

***
"So how'd you wind up like this?"

Apparently Velox got asked this a lot. He dug a paper from somewhere and handed it to the questioner. [Read it out loud, please.]

"Some friends had scored some weed, cheap. And we were having a party at my house since my folks were out of town. We were pretty stoned and I'd queued up all the Warner Brothers cartons on the player. We'd been watching Roadrunner cartoons for a couple hours when we all started feeling weird."

"I managed to call 911 before I passed out."

"Seems the guy who grew the weed had picked up some chemicals cheap. Fertilizer, pesticide, I forget what. They were cheap because they were some devisor stuff that didn't always work right."

"My friends just got sick. I turned into this."
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
In case anyone's got some spare cash they found down the back of the sofa:

The National Immigration Law Center have donation-matching up to $100,000 to help them create a Rapid Response Fund:

Donate to NILC

Planned Parenthood Action have donation-matching up to $350,000:

Donate to PP

The Climate Science Legal Defence Fund have matching up to $50,000:

Donate to the CSLDF

The National Network of Abortion Funds have matching up to $50,000, and their solicitation e-mail ends "Let’s fund abortion, build power, and radically love each other," bless them (they're also the only organization I've encountered where a staff member has their preferred pronouns in their sig, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy):

Donate to the NNAF

If you know of others, please comment!

(X-posted to [community profile] thisfinecrew.)
wossname: Clacks rendering of SPEAK HIS NAME to keep Pratchett on the Overhead (Default)
[personal profile] wossname
Wossname
Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
June 2017 (Volume 20, Issue 6, Post 1)


********************************************************************
WOSSNAME is a free publication offering news, reviews, and all the other stuff-that-fits pertaining to the works of Sir Terry Pratchett. Originally founded by the late, great Joe Schaumburger for members of the worldwide Klatchian Foreign Legion and its affiliates, including the North American Discworld Society and other continental groups, Wossname is now for Discworld and Pratchett fans everywhere in Roundworld.
********************************************************************

Editor in Chief: Annie Mac
News Editor: Vera P
Newshounds: Mogg, Sir J of Croydon Below, the Shadow, Mss C, Alison not Aliss
Staff Writers: Asti, Pitt the Elder, Evil Steven Dread, Mrs Wynn-Jones
Staff Technomancers: Jason Parlevliet, Archchancellor Neil, DJ Helpful
Book Reviews: Annie Mac, Drusilla D'Afanguin, Your Name Here
Puzzle Editor: Tiff (still out there somewhere)
Bard in Residence: Weird Alice Lancrevic
Emergency Staff: Steven D'Aprano, Jason Parlevliet
World Membership Director: Steven D'Aprano (in his copious spare time)

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


INDEX:

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH
02) EDITOR'S LETTER
03) ODDS AND SODS
04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS
05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS
06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS
07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE
08) ROUNDWORLD TALES
09) IMAGES OF THE MONTH
10) CLOSE

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

01) QUOTES OF THE MONTH

"People have a tendency to take libraries for granted. I don’t think we can take libraries for granted, because there’s a certain section of society that seems hell-bent on eliminating them. I can’t work out why they’d want to eliminate them, except that they’re just nasty people, and shouldn’t."
– much-loved author – and major Pratchett fan – Ben Aaronovitch

"I can't read any of his novels until I have finished my own. I would hate to find that someone else had already had one of my ideas first, and I would not want to be influenced by someone else's writing. But it is something to look forward to reading."
– another much-loved author, the now rather well-known JK Rowling, interviewed by The Bookseller in 1997

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

02) LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR

There is much kerfuffle (and fooferaw, and doo-dah, and hullabaloo, and isn't our language wonderfully daft!) in the Press and on the internet at the moment about a certain twentieth anniversary. Yes, that one. The Harry Potter series, for anyone who's been living in that place in Slice where the sun doesn't shine. So why am I leading this month's editorial with a mention of a book series that has nothing to do with Discworld? Easy: because there has also been a lot of Discworld-versus-Potterverse kerfuffle, fooferaw and the rest sailing back and forth across the Clacks for years now, and I have never understood it. See, back in the ancient twentieth-century days of the original Bands With Rocks In, there was a similar blather between fans of the Beatles and fans of the Rolling Stones, and it made no more sense to me then than Discworld-versus-Potterverse does in this century – especially the "if you love one of these then you can't possibly love the other" part. How ridiculous to think that one can't love both! Or indeed, that one can dislike both, or be less than enamoured of one for reasons that have nowt to do with t'other. So I hope that all Discworld fans and all Harry Potter fans can put aside any differences and celebrate this anniversary, because between them Sir Pterry and Ms Rowling CH (and how is it that she's not been made a Dame yet?) have done more to advance the cause of youth literacy – and all-ages joy! – than just about anyone else on the planet. Raise your glasses high!

Earlier this month, final year students from the University of Huddersfield's Costume with Textiles BA Hons degree course put on their yearly Costume Graduate Degree Show. This year's exhibition included costumes for "characters from books by Roald Dahl and Terry Pratchett and Edgar Allan Poe". How gratifying is it to see the name of Pratchett bookended by two of the (other) most famous writers of the past few centuries, with the assumption that everyone will recognise all three names equally well! And if you'd like to see the quality of the students' creations, there are some photos of last year's exhibition here: http://bit.ly/2sLNlX5

A bit of a mystery... Unseen Theatre's next Discworld production, coming in October, will be an action replay of one they've performed before... but which one? See if you can guess from this image of the production's first time around: http://bit.ly/2sgYhbB

Right, on with the show!

– Annie Mac, Editor

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

03) ODDS AND SODS

3.1 BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

It's come to my attention that we've been a bit lax in passing along information about new releases. Of course there are no *new* Pratchett books as such, but even those of us who have the entire Pratchett oeuvre already in various forms might want to update or replace old volumes, and of course almost everyone has friends and family who might be lacking a Discworld book or three... I know that in our household we have gradually been replacing our old falling-to-pieces Discworld paperbacks with the beautiful new hardcover releases...

Here be a list of much of what is now available:

"Gift Edition" hardcovers of all the Tiffany Aching books, featuring exquisite new Paul Kidby cover art
"Collector's Library Edition" hardcovers of The Truth, The Fifth Elephant, Carpe Jugulum and The Last Continent,
"Deluxe Edition" limited edition hardcover of The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner
The Terry Pratchett Diary (perpetual, so good for any year)
The Discworld Colouring Book Artist's Edition
A new cover edition of The Carpet People
A new cover edition of Raising Steam
A new omnibus edition of The Colour of Magic/The Light Fantastic
...and there's even The Little Black Book from the Pterry Memorial, a new edition of the Discworld Roleplaying Game, the soon-to-be-released 2018 Discworld Calendar,
and the Ankh-Morpork Post Office Notebook.

There is a choice of three main online sources for these, if your local bricks-and-mortar bookseller lets you down:

http://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/
https://www.discworldemporium.com/19-new-books
http://discworld.com/products/books/

3.2 REMINDER: THE TERRY PRATCHETT "HISWORLD" EXHIBITION

September is getting closer... here be the item as originally posted in the February issue!

A four-month exhibition on the works and life of Sir Terry Pratchett opens at the Salisbury Museum this coming September: "The Salisbury Museum, The Estate of Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby present 'Terry Pratchett: HisWorld', an exclusive major exhibition based on the extraordinary life of Sir Terry Pratchett, the creative genius behind the Discworld series. Follow his journey to becoming one of our best known and best loved writers. This unique exhibition will include artwork by the man himself and treasured items owned by Sir Terry which have never previously been on public display. Also featured will be over forty original illustrations by Paul Kidby, Sir Terry's artist of choice."

When: 16th September 2017 to 13th January 2018
Venue: Salisbury Museum, The King's House, 65 The Close, Salisbury, Wilts SP1 2EN (phone 01722 332151, email museum@salisburymuseum.org.uk)
Time: opening times are Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 17:00, Sundays (9 April - 29 October) 12:00 to 17:00. "Please note that our cafe is closed on Sundays."
Tickets: Adult £8, child £4, family (2 adults/4 children) £20, under-5s free. "Please note that all tickets issued by the museum are ANNUAL PASSES and are valid for one year. This is a condition of participating in the Gift Aid scheme and is offered regardless of whether you opt for the standard or donation admission."

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/your-visit/prices

Tickets are also available online from http://salisbury.merlintickets.co.uk/product/ADME

http://discworld.com/terry-pratchett-exhibition-announced-salisbury/
http://pratchetthisworld.com

3.3 PAUL KIDBY'S TOWER OF ART CAPTURES THE CASTLE:

The Southampton City Art Gallery has a very special exhibition, and the Tower of Art is in it:

"This is the first ever large-scale art exhibition on the subject of British castles. Everyone loves a castle: the first sight of a great mediaeval castle such as Conwy, Harlech or Dover can be a spine-tingling moment, they have an exceptional visual wow factor. Steeped in history and legend, these extraordinary buildings exude a powerful and brooding presence. They conjure knights in shining armour, derring-do, evil deeds and deep dungeons, high adventure and royal intrigue. Turner and Constable, Girtin, Cotman, Ibbetson, Sandby, Varley and many others travelled to castles throughout Britain in the search of the Picturesque. Castles, often sited in spectacular locations, were the perfect subject for the Romantic movement of the early 19th century that embraced the heroic past. The Gothic Revival was to spawn a new wave of castle building. Showcasing the finest historic and contemporary castle artists and combining history with art, this exhibition conjures the mystique, excitement and prestige of the castle from Iron Age hill forts to Victorian reproductions and fantasy castles. It will include famous and rarely seen works from public and private collections, including loans from Tate, The British Museum, the V&A, the Government Art Collection and from the collections of major artists. The exhibition will include a fully illustrated catalogue, which has been generously sponsored by the Punter Southall Group."

When: currently running, through 2nd September 2017
Venue: Southampton City Art Gallery, Commercial Road, Southampton SO14 7LP – 5 minutes' walk from Southampton Central Station – phone: 023 8083 3007 (option 3)
Time: Mon to Fri: 10am-3pm,
Sat: 10am - 5pm, Sun: Closed
Tickets: free admission to all exhibitions

Paul Kidby says, "I am delighted and honoured be included in such a prestigious collection."

https://www.southamptoncityartgallery.com/whats-on/capture-the-castle/

http://www.paulkidby.com/event/capture-the-castle/


3.4 THE LIBRARIAN WOULD APPROVE

It seems criminal to throw books away, but some people do exactly that. Luckily, at least one Roundworld hero does something about it. From the BBC:

"A dustbin man in Bogota in Colombia, who never studied further than primary school, has gathered a library of more than 20,000 thrown away books. The collection began 20 years ago, when Jose Alberto Gutierrez fished out a discarded copy of Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina. He now offers his books to other people as a free community library. "I realised that people were throwing books away in the rubbish. I started to rescue them," he said. Mr Gutierrez, who has gained the nickname The Lord of the Books, began collecting books that had been dumped in the waste bins in wealthier parts of the city. He would take them out of the rubbish and retrieve them for families in poorer areas. His collection of chucked away books is now used by families wanting to help their children with their homework, in a free library called the Strength of Words. 'There was a lack of them in our neighbourhood, so we started to help,' said Mr Gutierrez..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-40173423

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

04) DISCWORLD CONVENTION NEWS

4.1 AUSDWCON 2017 NEWS

Nullus Anxietas VI (The Discworld Grand Tour) is completely sold out now, but there is still a waiting list in case some ticketholders have to drop out:

http://ausdwcon.org/shop/waiting-list/

Also worth noting: Adelaide's Roundworld-famous Unseen Theatre Company will be presenting a 'moved reading' (script in hand) performance of "The Trial" for the Discworld Convention on Sunday 6th August.

4.2 NADWCON 2017 NEWS

The ever excellent Emily Whitten's new infopost:

Welcome to the NADWCon blog, where we will endeavor to bring you informative and entertaining missives as we advance rapidly towards the 2017 NADWCon, to be held September 1-4 in historic New Orleans, Louisiana. As a co-founder of the NADWCon, I’m really excited to be working on yet another wonderful fan celebration of Sir Terry’s works – and as incredibly sad as I am that Terry is no longer with us in the Roundworld, I am glad that we will have an opportunity to further honor him at our con this Labor Day Weekend. And in such a setting, too! New Orleans has been called many things – The Big Easy, The Crescent City, the Birthplace of Jazz, the Mardi Gras City, and, of course, the modern portmanteau of New Orleans and Louisiana, NOLA.; but for Discworldians, the most important name for New Orleans is Genua: the Discworld equivalent for New Orleans, in which Granny, Nanny, and Magrat had a grand adventure in Witches Abroad. Terry spent some time in New Orleans years ago, and from that the inspiration for the bananana daiquiri and other Discworldian story elements was born. Visiting New Orleans after reading Witches Abroad (or the other way around) is an especially unique experience for Pratchett fans to have, as the book echoes so much of the feel and culture of that unique place.

Having been there a couple of times now specifically to scout out and find the best locale in which to celebrate - the excellent Sheraton New Orleans, book your stay here, located on Canal Street right near Bourbon Street (but don't worry, also far enough away to offer the option of a quieter environment for those who aren’t in the mood to paaaar-tay 24-7) – I can relay that it is an experience in itself to partake of the food, fun, and atmosphere of the city, and that you can certainly convince yourself, just by looking at things a little bit sideways, that you are actually in Genua after all.

Our hotel is handy to the shops and also to some excellent restaurants and sights. Along with being right near Bourbon Street, which boasts such famous bars as Pat O’Brien’s (the Hurricanes there are a must) and many, many places to procure a bananana daiquiri, around the corner is an excellent breakfast spot very in keeping with the fairytale theme of Witches Abroad, The Ruby Slipper Café; and right across the street from the hotel, for all of your last-minute costuming needs, is a costume and (hem hem) novelty shop that is, amazingly, called “Mr. Binky’s.” (I can hear Terry laughing from here.) I can vouch for the delicious fare at The Palace Cafe also across Canal Street; and there’s also an Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium right down from it that is still on my list of “to-visit” places.

And that’s just naming a few of the places that are right outside the door within walking distance. There are many other amazing, interesting, and historical sights to be seen all over New Orleans (check out our handy list right here!) And, of course, there will be many things to do at the con itself, with excellent programming, guests, and new and old friends to sit down with.

More on that shortly, but for now, if you are signed up for our con, I’d like to say, “Hurrah! Welcome! And we look forward to seeing you!” And if you haven’t signed up as yet, I encourage you to register for a membership, book your hotel room (noting that we have a special hotel rate available from August 24-September 10, should you wish to arrive early or stay a bit longer and explore), and join us for “The Genuan Experience” in beautiful New Orleans.

Cheers from your co-chair!

Emily S. Whitten
Co-Chair, NADWCon 2017

https://nadwcon2017.org/bloggings

The when, the where and the what of NADWcon 2017: https://nadwcon2017.org/f-a-q

4.3 DWCON 2018 NEWS

The original Discworld Convention has been going for over twenty years now and hardly needs publicity, as it tend to sell out almost as fast as concert tickets for (insert name of latest identikit boyband here). But for those among you who might like a chance to get your foot in the door early, here be an announcement from chairperson Tamara:

"Brethren, sistren, other-ren,

"It's a million-to-one chance, but we all know those come through nine times out of ten... I am very proud to announce The Discworld Convention 2018, a four day celebration of the works of Sir Terry Pratchett, which will be held at the Chesford Grange Hotel on 3rd – 6th August 2018. For the 11th Discworld Convention we are taking our inspiration from the book which introduced us all to the Ankh-Morpork Night Watch and its much beloved members Vimes, Carrot, Colon and Nobby – Guards! Guards! Have a look around to find all the information you need in order to join us in our hunt for Dragons, including when memberships go on sale, how to book your hotel room or camping plot, and what to expect at the Convention. I and the other Elucidated Brethren committee members welcome all of you and hope you will join us next year and help us open the Door of Knowledge Through Which the Untutored May Not Pass (it sticks something wicked in the damp). Whisper not our secret knowings to the uninitiated, lest your figgins be roasted..."

And look – you might have a newer and better foot-inna-door chance owing to a change in ticket availability:

"So, who was it that said a wise Chair never counts their dragons before they hatch? In my last message I said we'd be opening for sales in July. I gave you a date. I was sure. But then THINGS happened. Hex has had some issues and it's all gone a bit quantum. It's fair to say we've run into a couple of snags. The crack ConCom team are ON IT and yes, snags are being ruthlessly hunted down and eliminated. But that's taking a bit of time, and some of ConCom have started muttering about needing sleep. And food. So, in order to ensure that our sales launch goes smoothly and without any issues, we have decided to delay the opening of sales by just over one week. We will now be opening at 19:00 BST on 10th July. Information on the way memberships and hotel bookings will work is on the website now. If you need anything else then please drop us a line at info@dwcon.org. We are grateful for your understanding and support."

https://2018.dwcon.org/

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

05) DISCWORLD PLAYS NEWS

5.1 PLAYS IN JULY AND AUGUST

* WYRD SISTERS AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE... AGAIN! (AUGUST)

Return of the Hat! After their successes with Eric and Mort at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Duck in a Hat theatre company will be back at with their production of Wyrd Sisters in August.

When: 14th-19th August and 21st-27th August 2017
Venue: Paradise in Augustines, (Venue 152) 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL
Time: 6.25pm all shows; running time is 90 minutes
Tickets: £9.50 (concession £8.50), available from https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/event/775570-terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/ or ring the Box Office on 0131 510 0022

http://duckinahat.weebly.com/

* GUARDS! GUARDS! IN CARDIFF (AUGUST)

The next exciting Discworld play presented by Monstrous Productions will be Guards! Guards!

When: 16th–19th August 2017
Venue: The Gate Arts Theatre, Keppoch St, Cardiff CF24 3JW
Time: 7.30pm (2.30pm matinee on the 19th)
Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions), available online from https://t.co/vJToGp8O5P

http://monstrousptc.com/
https://twitter.com/MonstrousPTC/
https://www.facebook.com/MonstrousProductionsTheatreCompany/

* WYRD SISTERS IN THE LAND OF FEEGLES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER)

Monifieth Amateur Dramatics (MAD) will be staging their production of Wyrd Sisters, directed by Steven Armstrong, in August: "Stephen Briggs has been involved in amateur dramatics for over 25 years and he assures us that the play can be staged without needing the budget of Industrial Light and Magic. Not only that, but the cast should still be able to be in the pub by 10 o'clock!"

When: 24th-26th August and 31st August-2nd September 2017
Venue: Monifieth Theatre, 72 High Street, Monifieth, Angus DD5 2AE
Time: 7.30pm all shows
Tickets: £9 (£6 concessions), available from Troups Pharmacy, Monifieth; Yorkshire Building Society, Broughty Ferry; and The Bay Diner/Grill, Monifieth. Ring 01382 480043 for details. Tickets are also available online at http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/tickets

http://www.monifieththeatre.co.uk/whatson

5.2 PLAYS LATER IN 2017... AND 2018

* LORDS AND LADIES IN BRISBANE (SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER)

Brisbane Arts Theatre will be presenting their next Discworld play, Lords and Ladies – adapted by Irana brown – in September: "Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg – the witches of Lancre – are the Discworld's only hope of rescue when elves threaten to take control with their hypnotic 'glamour'. Standing stones, wizards, Morris men, rude mechanicals, country lore and ancient magic all combine in this adaptation of one of Sir Terry's finest. With a full supporting cast of dwarves, wizards, trolls and one orangutan, the hilarious Lords and Ladies delivers an abundance of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place."

When: 16th September – 21st October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, QLD 4000
Time: 7.30pm Thursdays, 8.00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 6.30pm Sundays
Tickets: Adults $34, Concession $28, Group 10+ $27, Student Rush $15 (10 mins before curtain), available online at http://bit.ly/2tjucfQ "Subscribers can redeem season tickets for this show. There are no refunds or exchanges once tickets have been purchased."

http://www.artstheatre.com.au/show/lordsandladies

* MORT IN READING (OCTOBER)

Twyford and Ruscombe Theatre Group will present their production of Mort, "an off beat tale of bacon, eggs and destiny", in October.

"Terry Pratchett's Discworld will once more be gracing the stage at Loddon Hall. We are putting on a production of Mort, which will involve a large cast, plenty of dramatic moments and a lot of laughs."

When: 5th–7th October 2017
Venue: Loddon Hall, Loddon Hall Road, Twyford, Reading, Berkshire, RG10 9JA
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £7, £8, £9 and £10, available online at http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/171598

http://www.twyrusdrama.org.uk

* MORT IN KENT (OCTOBER)

The Erith Playhouse are staging their production of Mort in October.

When: 9th–14th October 2017
Venue: Erith Playhouse, 38–40 High Street, Erith, Kent DA8 1QY
Time: 8pm all shows
Tickets: £10, available from the Box Office on 01322 350345 or by filling out the form on the webpage (_http://www.playhouse.org.uk/show/mort/_). "Tickets can be posted to you or held at the Box Office for collection prior to the performance."

http://www.playhouse.org.uk/next-seasons-shows/

* RAISING STEAM IN ABINGDON: A POSTPONEMENT

The Studio Theatre Club have slightly updated their announcement: "Don't tell anyone yet (this is just between you and us), it's still a long way off (2018!), we've only just had the formal permission for a new play and Stephen's still writing it, but he thinks it's about time he tackled another of the novels, and the third in the Moist von Lipwig Trilogy might just be the right one. It's been on his to-do list for a while...he thinks he owes it to Terry... Tickets are not yet on sale. News here when they are!"

http://www.studiotheatreclub.com/discworld

* MONSTROUS REGIMENT IN GEORGIA USA (FEBRUARY 2018)

Gainesville Theatre Alliance's 2017-2018 season will feature their production of Monstrous Regiment in a "February Festival of Theatre". "GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, theatre professionals and the northeast Georgia community that has yielded state and national awards."

When: 16th–24th February 2018
Venue: UNG-Gainesville's Ed Cabell Theatre, 3820 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood, GA
Time: 7:30pm evening shows on the 16th, 18th, 20th-24th, and 2:30pm matinees on the 17th & 24th
Tickets: $18-20 for adults, $16-18 for seniors and $12-14 for students, depending on seat location, availab le from 1st July 1 online at www.gainesvilleTHEATREalliance.org or by phoning the Box Office at 678 717 3624.

http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/index/
http://blog.ung.edu/gta/performances/tickets/

5.3 REVIEWS

WYRD SISTERS IN BATH

By Pamela Kelt and Samantha Walker in the Bath Chronicle:

"Nadine Comba as clever Granny Weatherwax steers us majestically through the madness, ably assisted by her sisters in sorcery Angela Giddings, hilarious as earthy Nanny Ogg, and Gabrielle Finnegan as the charmingly naive Magrat Garlick. The fool, Iorwerth Mitchell, mastered the art of being funny without appearing foolish. The duke was deliciously bonkers. In truth, the whole cast was sterling, putting together a fast-paced rendition of Pratchett’s magical wit. With accents! Plus a rather super cauldron, courtesy of the Museum of Bath at Work (also responsible for the torture implements). According to Terry’s original notes on the play, ‘a bit of dry ice would be quite nice - I know it’s a swine to deal with, but it gives a good effect ...’ In the intimacy of The Rondo, a smoke machine works perfectly well to fabricate the meta world that Pratchett created. Witty music along with terrific sound and lighting contribute to a satisfying theatrical experience that blends fantasy with subtle views on the madness of life... The Rondo Theatre Company’s stage version of the Wyrd Sisters is a hugely enjoyable recreation of a novel that doesn’t appear to be complicated but is fantastically multi-layered. .."

http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife/review-terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters-126324

...and a blog review from "Rachy-Lou":

"Pratchett fans will be relieved to know that the plot isn’t altered from his original novel, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Following the murder of the Old King, the Lancre Oven Coven (Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax and Magrat) smuggle the infant prince and his crown out of the country to safety... The chemistry between the three is perfect; Nanny Ogg’s (Angela Giddings) comic delivery and Magrat’s (Gabrielle Finnegan) eccentric naivety acting as the foil to Granny Weatherwax’s (Nadine Comba) stern realism. The relationship seems easy and natural, making the audience feel relaxed and engaged. From then on we are treated to some brilliant comedic performances from Iorwerth Mitchell as the Fool and Nic Proud as the Duke in particular, as well as a memorable Sergeant from Richard Chivers. Director Paul Olding (who also made a presumably last minute appearance in this performance as Vitoller due to ill health), utilised minimalist staging to great effect. The props were well chosen and realistic, some provided by the Museum of Bath at Work. The music was witty and lively, and the lighting and special effects timely and appropriate. Costumes were, for the most part, well put together and as I would have pictured Pratchett’s characters to be clothed with the exception of the Duchess. Unless The Queen of Hearts from Wonderland really is moonlighting in this production. Incongruously dressed Duchesses aside, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the Rondo Theatre Company’s production of Wyrd Sisters and any real criticism that I have of it is aimed solely at Stephen Briggs’ adaptation..."

https://habitualscribbler.com/2017/06/26/theatre-review-terry-pratchetts-wyrd-sisters/

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06) DISCWORLD MEETING GROUPS NEWS: UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The Broken Drummers, "London's Premier Unofficially Official Discworld Group" (motto "Nil percussio est") will be meeting next on Monday 3rd July 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."

As you can see from their latest meet report, the subjects for discussion range well beyond the Disc:

"So, we met Monday night two days after the London Bridge attack. I had wondered if anyone would be put off coming but in the end we had a total of about 15. This shows that Broken Drummers does not bow to terrorism. Early on, a discussion on Jeremy Clarkson became surprisingly heated. I got into a debate with Phil over Clarkson's violent tendencies, which I resolved by punching him in the face for arguing with me (OK I didn't but I did see Have I Got News for You filmed yesterday and wanted to put some satire into the meeting report). In honour of the recent 25th May, I did a quiz on Night Watch. This confused some American tourists on the next table who asked if it was something to do with Game of Thrones. As always, there was a certain amount of heckling. This time, Edmund was a major source of disruption, trying to remember the name of the Night Watch's horse by saying names out loud (no-one got this one so be proud if you know it). Eventually, I picked up one of the drumsticks from our mascot and threatened to hit people for further disruptions, which helped. Chris B won and is now the proud owner of a Dr Who mug that my Dad donated to the quiz. We had two new people arrive just as the quiz started. I think that they were called Karen and Kerry Ann, however I did not get the chance to speak to them properly. Chris J. has returned, now a qualified accountant, so our singing the Accountancy Shanty a few months ago clearly helped." – Helen Nicholls

For more information, go to http://brokendrummers.org/ or email BrokenDrummers@gmail.com or nicholls.helen@yahoo.co.uk

*

Canberra, Australia's Discworld fan group is Drumknott's Irregulars: "The group is open to all, people from interstate and overseas are welcome, and our events will not be heavily themed. Come along to dinner for a chat and good company. We welcome people from all fandoms (and none) and we would love to see you at one of our events, even if you're just passing through. Please contact us via Facebook (_https://www.facebook.com/groups/824987924250161/_) or Google Groups (_https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/drumknotts-irregulars_) or join us at our next event."

*

For Facebook users in Fourecks: The Victorian Discworld Klatch is "a social group for fans of Discworld and Terry Pratchett... run by a dedicated team who meet monthly and organise events monthly." "If you'd like to join our events please ask to join the Klatch."

https://www.facebook.com/groups/VictorianDiscworldKlatch

*

"The Gathering of the Loonies (Wincanton chapter)" is a public Facebook meeting group: "This group, by request of Jo in Bear will continue to be used for future unofficial (not run by the Emporium) fan Gatherings in Wincanton. Look here for information." Future events will include the Hogswatch Express meet (24th-26th November 2017) and the Did You Bring a Beer Along meeting (celebrating 20 years of The Last Continent) in April 2018.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/373578522834654/

*

The Pratchett Partisans are a fan group who meet monthly at either Brisbane or Indooroopilly to "eat, drink and chat about all things Pratchett. We hold events such as Discworld dinners, games afternoons, Discworld photo scavenger hunts. We also attend opening night at Brisbane Arts Theatre's Discworld plays." The Partisans currently have about 200 members who meet at least twice a month, usually in Brisbane.

For more info about their next meetup, join up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pratchettpartisans/ or contact Ula directly at uwilmott@yahoo.com.au

*

The City of Small Gods is a group for fans in Adelaide and South Australia: "We have an established Terry Pratchett & Discworld fan group in Adelaide called The City of Small Gods, which is open to anyone who would like to come – you don't have to live in Adelaide or even South Australia, or even be a Discworld fan, but that's mostly where our events will be held, and we do like discussing Pratchett's works. Our (semi-) regular meetings are generally held on the last Thursday of the month at a pub or restaurant in Adelaide. We have dinner at 6.30pm followed by games until 9pm. The games are usually shorter games like Pairs, Sushi Go, or Tiny Epic Defenders, with the occasional Werewolf session, as these are the best sort of games that work in a pub setting. Every few months, we have a full day's worth of board games at La Scala Cafe, 169 Unley Rd, Unley in the function room starting at 10am. In addition, we will occasionally have other events to go and see plays by Unseen Theatre Company, book discussions, craft, chain maille or costuming workshops or other fun social activities."

The next CoSG event will be the Monthly Social Meet at the Caledonian Hotel on 29th June (tomorrow!); the next one after that will be on 27th July.

The CoSG also have another identity. Here's the skinny:

Round World Events SA Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated association whose aim is to run fun social Pratchett-themed events for people in South Australia. Our first major event was the Unseen University Convivium held in July 2012. We have also run three successful and booked out Science Fiction and Fantasy themed quiz nights named Quiz Long And Prosper, in 2013, 2014 and 2015! We are also running the next Australian Discworld Convention, Nullus Anxietas VI – The Discworld Grand Tour – taking place in August 2017. You can find more out about it on this very website (_http://ausdwcon.org/_)! The association will run some events under the City of Small Gods banner, but you do not have to be a Round World Events SA member to be part of City of Small Gods. However, we are always on the look out for new members for Round World Events SA to help us organise future events! Membership is $20 a year (for Adelaide locals) or $5 a year (for those not quite so close) and has the following benefits:

A shiny membership certificate all of your very own
Discounted entry price to some of the events we run
A warm, fuzzy feeling deep down in your chest (no, not quite that deep)
For more information, or to join as a member, please email RoundWorldEventsSA@gmail.com

www.cityofsmallgods.org.au

*

The Broken Vectis Drummers meet next on Thursday 6th July 2017 (probably) from 7.30pm at The Castle pub in Newport, Isle of Wight. For more info and any queries, contact broken_vectis_drummers@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Wincanton Omnian Temperance Society (WOTS) next meets on Friday 7th July 2017 (probably) at Wincanton's famous Bear Inn from 7pm onwards. "Visitors and drop-ins are always welcome!"

*

The Northern Institute of the Ankh-Morpork and District Society of Flatalists, a Pratchett fangroup, has been meeting on a regular basis since 2005. The Flatalists normally meet at The Narrowboat Pub in Victoria Street, Skipton, North Yorkshire, 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/

*

Sydney Drummers (formerly Drummers Downunder) meet next on Monday 3rd July 2017 at 6.30pm in Sydney at 3 Wise Monkeys, 555 George Street, Sydney,2000. For more information, contact Sue (aka Granny Weatherwax): kenworthys@yahoo.co.uk

*

The Treacle Mining Corporation, formerly known as Perth Drummers, meets next on Monday 3rd July 2017 (probably) from 5.30pm at Carpe Cafe, 526 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia. For details follow Perth Drummers on Twitter @Perth_Drummers or join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Perth.Drummers/ – or message Alexandra Ware directly at <alexandra.ware@gmail.com>

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07) AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Blogger Rebecca on Small Gods:

I have found through reading Pratchett’s books that they often have some underlying message, often by parodying life and our everyday struggles or alternatively, other literature; Equal Rites addresses the issue of gender equality, Wyrd Sisters parodies the three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Moving Pictures is a humorous take on Hollywood and the power of media. Small Gods I think is no exception, introducing the idea that the power of God(s), one or another (there are thousands on the Discworld) are relative to the number of believers they have. In a way can I get behind that idea. I would truly be concerned however if God, Allah, Thor, Loki, Apollo etc all sat in heaven throwing dice and using us mere mortals as pawns for some game we don’t understand the rules of. As well as his ability to address these topics – Pratchett has an extraordinary sense of humour to do it with... This book has some real laugh-out-loud moments, and although I wouldn’t say it was in my top favourites of Pratchett’s Discworld novels, it still holds its own..."

https://readersonline.blog/2017/06/25/review-small-gods-terry-pratchett/

Blogger bookedbybliss on A Hat Full of Sky:

"A Hat Full of Sky is categorized as YA and although I found it to be more straightforward and simpler than the usual Discworld tales, compared to the average (and maybe even more than average) YA books out there, the story was definitely complicated and meaningful. In his usual wry and satirical manner, Terry Pratchett deals with issues that are commonplace to most young people – bullies, rivalry, peer pressure, being the odd one out. It is overall a coming of age novel but it has themes that adults can relate to as well such as taking responsibility for your actions and differentiating between what you want to do and the right thing to do. Tiffany’s interaction with the Hiver also forces us to face some truths about ourselves that we may not be comfortable with. Being a witch turns out to be very different from what Tiffany had imagined it would be and we as readers discover along with her that it’s not all about boiling cauldrons and casting spells and turning people into frogs... I found it interesting to see [Granny Weatherwax] portrayed in a different light here than the other Discworld books, where she’s often shown as a disagreeable and difficult woman in comparison to the more genial Nanny Ogg. In this book she is looked at with great reverence and likened to a leader of the witches..."

https://bookedbybliss.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/book-review-a-hat-full-of-sky-by-terry-pratchett/\

Blogger Ryan is back with his thoughts on Wyrd Sisters:

"The book’s parodying of Shakespeare’s plays supplants the usual jabs at the Fantasy genre. This is the first time (perhaps except Mort) that Pratchett has shifted the subject from that genre’s tropes to another that still works in the setting. Shakespeare having written a lot about royalty, it also plays heavily with the legends and beliefs behind the importance of kingship, those destined for it, and the power it grants. In classic Discworld fashion, the book doesn’t pull many punches when making fun of monarchy, especially in the face of the usual romanticizing... The trio of witches play off of each other really well. Granny’s stubborn expertise, Nanny’s jovial rambling, and Magrat’s meek inexperience makes for a lot of great banter, especially the more compromising a situation they’re thrown into... one thing this novel gets into that I really appreciated was the power of words (storytelling) in shaping reality. This not in the literal sense, but reality as perception. There are instances of word of mouth and spin, but this culminates in the use of theatre, which frequently portrays the drama of history. A popular production of a story, of history, becomes the truth in the eyes of the masses, even if the facts are much different. Felmet wants to use a play to turn public favour against the three witches and onto his side. We see how words could change a group of herbalists and healers who utilize the arcane into scheming hags that murder babies and sink ships with sinister powers, in the eyes of an audience. Though the book’s presentation of this is at a microcosmic scale, it demonstrates the realities that fiction can create and how that can be used for good or for ill in swaying perception..."

https://musewithmeblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/book-review-wyrd-sisters-by-terry-pratchett/

A quick note from blogger thecorneroflaura about chapters and why Discworld never needed them:

"I’ve just finished reading Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. Like the other Discworld books, this one doesn’t have any chapters. You’d think that this would cripple a book, leaving no convenient place for a reader to leave off for the day and risking confusion when the scene changes. Yet, in Night Watch, it doesn’t diminish my enjoyment at all. Of course, this is mostly down to the late Terry Pratchett’s incredible writing (I think Sam Vimes has muscled his way into my top ten main characters list) but it got me thinking: could other books get away with it? Do you have to be as brilliant as Pratchett to be able to do away with chapters altogether?..."

https://thecorneroflaura.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/novel-writing-question-no-6-do-we-even-need-chapters-anyway/

Blogger cupofjobi, late to the Discworld party, will be partying enthusiastically after having a go at The Colour of Magic:

"I’m not sure why I’ve never read any Terry Pratchett before, especially since I’ve known about his series and heard nothing but high praise for it since I can remember, but this book is absolutely amazing. I cannot wait to read more of the Discworld series. It’s hard for me to even convey how much I loved this book. I will admit to being a little lost at first as to what exactly was happening but before I knew it I was whisked away on an adventure with Rincewind the wizard and Twoflower the tourist as the sapient pearwood luggage chest follows them all over Discworld. So many authors I read on a regular basis have sung such high praises for this series and now I know why. It is simply put, one of the best books I have ever read. I found it hard to put down even with the Pacific Ocean lapping at the seawall outside of our rental house. My only complaint about this book was that each of the chapters was extremely long, I believe there were only 4 in the entire first book, and I vastly prefer shorter chapters. But honestly who the hell cares how many chapters there are or how long each of them is when the writing, characters, and story are as amazing as what Terry Pratchett put onto the page. RIP Terry Pratchett, I feel ashamed for not finding your truly fantastic series of books before now..."

http://bit.ly/2th2KQP

Blogger Jeroen returns with thoughts on Tiffany Aching and The Wee Free Men:

"The Aching books are commonly labeled as young adult, but Pratchett is such a treasure that these books should not be overlooked. We are now in the final stretch of Discworld novels, in which Pratchett’s struggle with Alzheimer slowly becomes apparent. But the Tiffany Aching novels see Pratchett still on top of his game and are one of the jewels in his crown... What I admire greatly in Pratchett’s writing is how this story is about common shepherd people in a medieval fantasy setting, and how he grounds these people so strongly in the land and the communities they live in. During Tiffany’s adventure, we get flashbacks to her memories of her grandmother, 'Granny Aching', who wields this great influence over the community while all she does is sit still and smoke tobacco. Her “witchery” is being smart and silent, similar to the 'headology' of Granny Weatherwax in other Discworld novels. These characters are simply a stroke of genius... Unfortunately, the plot suffers from a number of tired tropes. Tiffany is trying to rescue her brother, who is stolen away by the fairy queen, and so Tiffany has to cross over to fairyland. It’s a dream-world where people’s dreams and mythological monsters become true, blablabla. I suspect that an adventure on Discworld itself would have been a lot more interesting than another rendition of the land of Oz..."

https://jeroenthoughts.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/terry-pratchett-the-wee-free-men-2003-review/

Blogger Jonathan Feinstein is back with thoughts on the Snuff audiobook:

"This is another great story that is a part of an all-around great series. The Discworld stories can be mistaken for mere parodies of fantasy tropes and, indeed, that is how they started out, but they stand on their own and are frequently good serious stories, wearing only a mask of satire. Snuff is a good solid story with some good solid social messages but delivered in a clever and entertaining manner. It is also an excellent example of how to mix a police procedural story with fantasy. Best of all, I think it makes sense even if you have not read all the stories that precede it which is hard to accomplish in such a long-running series. As usual, I very much enjoyed Stephen Briggs’ reading. He does occasionally resort to funny voices for some of the characters, but in most cases I think they are well chosen, especially for non-human characters, although I was slightly annoyed by the pubescent, breaking voice of the young “Chief Constable” out in the country. The character was much younger than Vimes, but I did not think he was that much younger. However, that was my only real criticism so all in all, he did well. Briggs has read many of the Discworld novels so it was very much a matter of coming back to a familiar friend..."

https://jonathanfeinstein.wordpress.com/2017/05/28/an-audio-book-review-ah-choo/

Blogger The English Student has had a re-think about Moving Pictures:

"Pratchett’s line is in interrogating the narrative structures that underlie our culture and our expectations of reality. In that respect, he is actually surprisingly formally innovative – surprisingly, that is, for such an unabashedly popular writer, though his fans have been pushing people to his work for years. Moving Pictures is an excellent case in point, though it’s not really a fan favourite – perhaps because it’s missing the savage flashes of explicit social criticism some of his works exhibit. (From Guards! Guards!: “we were dragons. We were supposed to be cruel, cunning, heartless, and terrible. But…we never burned and tortured and ripped one another apart and called it morality.”) It’s a veritable tissue of structural irony, packed with a plethora of narrative levels. At its heart, it’s a tale that twists Hollywood sidelong by transplanting it into a fantasy world; asks us to look afresh at the silent-movie tropes that are by now embedded into our own cultural consciousness... It’s a hugely playful novel, one which also takes its characters seriously enough to have real warmth... the Discworld novels are a lot cleverer than I think I’ve given them credit for in the past. In fact, I think Pratchett might well be the Dickens of the twenty-first century: a popular writer who deals in kindly caricature and savage humour, who’s doing some real work beneath the densely detailed surface of his fiction..."

https://englishstudens.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/review-moving-pictures/

Blogger butiliketurtles loved Witches Abroad:

While enjoying my time road tripping through Uruguay, weeks ago now, I decided to start this little gem. Terry Pratchett has long been a soft spot for me and I don’t intend to grow out of fantasy any time soon, particularly this brand of silliness. Within a few pages I was hooked and I spent a lot of a ferry back to Buenos Aires in stitches and pestering my mate so I could read him snippets... I am quite a fan of Granny Weatherwax. I really enjoyed seeing a little bit of character development, a little bit more than all of those pointy edges and seemingly callous deflections. That outer layer is actually just hiding something a little more tender underneath. I could just boil this novel down into a talking mirror and witches not letting a young girl kiss a frog. But I could also boil it down into some very entertaining old ladies wrecking utter havoc on the general public. This is a melting pot of a lot of well loved fairy tales turned upside down and stitched together in a new pattern that I believe works very well..."

https://waistcoatsginandwords.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/61-witches-abroad/

Feminist blogger Eve S Rafter finds much of interest in a long post on Equal Rites:

"Contemporary gender studies would probably discuss this in terms of gender roles and socialization. Boys are encouraged to grow up with a particular mindset, girls with another. Boys who may show inclinations classified as feminine are pushed – or punished – away from them. Likewise with girls who show masculine inclinations. Granny Weatherwax’s reference to 'jommetry' echoes something my mother believes – that men have brains better suited to logic and mathematics, and that female brains are better suited to emotional or empathetic fields. Wizards’ magic is 'out of the sky' – a parallel can be drawn here to physics; while witch magic is out of the ground. It’s no coincidence that more women gravitate towards biology... The magic of men, if allowed to progress in an unrestricted fashion, will result in complete destruction of the universe. They are therefore not allowed to use their magic except in cases of absolute necessity (like when another wizard or set of wizards have already set about destroying the universe, and need to be stopped.) The wisdom and greatness of wizardry lies in doing nothing, which is why the greatest, strongest wizards do nothing but eat a lot and nap a lot. The magic of witches on the other hand is perpetually in use. For the most part, witch magic is nothing but knowledge of herbal medicine, gossipping around a pot of tea, and what Granny Weatherwax refers to as 'headology.' The witches are perpetual servants of society – they are midwives and healers, dispensers of justice, veterinarians. They tend to the elderly, the ones who have no one else to look after them. They take up the jobs no one else want, precisely because they can be so much more, and their power requires constant reminders of why it’s important to stay grounded..."

https://feministquill.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/book-review-discworld-3-equal-rites/

...and finally, Cultured Vultures blogger Nat Wassell considers the darkness of I Shall Wear Midnight:

"The first thing that strikes you reading ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’ is that it is dark. Dark by Discworld standards anyway, and especially dark by Tiffany Aching standards... There is a darkness to ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’, although it is not lacking in the other elements that make up a good Discworld novel. Most importantly for me is the brief sojourn that Tiffany makes to Ankh-Morpork, the first time we have seen her visit the city. There she meets Mrs Proust, who runs the infamous Boffo shop, and whilst on this visit, Tiffany shares a page, albeit briefly, with Sam Vimes. She is, in fact, a little bit intimidated by him, when she is so often not intimidated by anyone, and I loved that idea. We don’t see Sam interact with any of the other witches at any point, and although I’d pay ridiculous money for a Vimes vs Granny Weatherwax novel (I think they would be best friends in the end), I’ll take this short scene and be appreciative of it..."

https://culturedvultures.com/discworld-discussions-shall-wear-midnight-2010/

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08) ROUNDWORLD TALES: BOOTS FOR DINNER, AND WAYZGOOSE

You may recall a certain famous dinner in Ankh-Morpork, when the Canting Crew were convinced to give up their footwear to be turned into new "exotic" dishes (with avec) at a posh restaurant. Here in Roundworld, a homeless man gave up his footwear so that someone else could *eat* in a posh restaurant! One Akbar Badshah found himself barred from his wife's birthday dinner because the sandals he was wearing failed to meet the restaurant's dress code:

"He turned to nearby rough sleeper John, who said he would be 'happy' to help and lend him his boots. Mr Badshah, who also wanted to break his Ramadan fast, told BBC Radio 5 live: "The [staff] said, 'unfortunately we have to turn you away - do you have any spare shoes?' I said, 'I don't, I've driven an hour to get here, I'm starving, I've not eaten all day.'" He and his wife Rozmin – who had previously suggested her husband should wear shoes – left the restaurant and later struck up a conversation with John, who had recently received a new pair of boots from an outreach shelter. "We had a little chat and I just asked John, 'What shoe size are you?'," Mr Badshah said. "He said, 'I'm a 14,' and I said, 'I'm a size 9, I'm in a bit of predicament... can I borrow your shoes?' "He goes, 'Yes certainly, I'll be happy to lend you my shoes.'" The couple went on to enjoy their meal as planned, then returned the boots to John, who told Mr Badshah he had just wanted "to help another human being out". Mr Badshah said John only accepted a £10 note in thanks "on the third attempt". Another man, who overheard the conversation between the pair, then gave John a £50 note, which Mr Badshah said was "good karma". Mr Badshah said he now hopes to return to the restaurant with John for a meal."

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-40368439

You may also recall a certain ill-starred wizard at Unseen University – Virrid Wayzygoose, the Archchancellor-elect who fell foul of Coin the Sourceror's staff. You probably also laughed at the silliness of his name, but did you know that in using that name Sir Pterry was yet again proving his stellar worth as a picker-up of inconsidered trifles? The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that a wayzgoose (note spelling) was originally "an entertainment given by a master-printer to his workmen to mark the beginning of the season of working by candlelight", and later "an annual festivity held in summer by the employees of a printing establishment, consisting of a dinner and (usually) an excursion into the country" which was traditionally held in late August to coincide with the feast of St Bartholomew, the patron saint of bookbinders. But as to *why* a wayzgoose was so called, no-one is the wiser. The origin of the term is unknown! It's possible that it comes from the word waygoose, which might have meant a goose fed on field-stubble after harvest time, or possibly from wake-goose, an old printing house holiday, but there the trail goes cold. Still , the OED is determined to get to the bottom of this weird word. You can read the full article here:

http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2013/08/origin-of-wayzgoose/

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

09) IMAGES OF THE MONTH

NADWcon 2017's excellent Witches banner, a composite of Agnes, Magrat, Granny, Nanny and – I think – Tiffany:
https://nadwcon2017.org/media/wysiwyg/Composite_Witch_bees_1.png

Some of the main cast of Milton Follies' recent production of Wyrd Sisters in Fourecks, looking very Lancrastian:
http://bit.ly/2ub9Gva

...and the Lancre Witches of Bath, as seen in the Rondo Theatre Company's recent production (see item 5.3):
http://bit.ly/2sWd3GX

Lord Vetinari, who sometimes cosplays as Stephen Briggs, has a message for us:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCA_aivXYAADHO_.jpg

The inimitable Paul Kidby, working on some new Nac Mac Feegle sculptures:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DC2WlhDXgAA6qOo.jpg

...and on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the release of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, My Kidby's amazing Band with Rocks In tribute "album cover" is always worth another viewing:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DBOLEDNWsAE4-TI.jpg

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

10) CLOSE

Fans of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office might be interested to know that legendary Roundworld stamp collecting concern Stanley Gibbons – the source of our beloved Assistant Postmaster's name, Stanley Howler – is up for sale:

"The company has identified the Middle East and Asia as new markets for potential growth, but said expansion would require further investment. It said that it would therefore examine its options, which could include the sale of part or all of the business. The firm was set up by Edward Stanley Gibbons in 1856 and is the world's longest established rare stamp trader. It opened its first shop in 1891 on The Strand in London where it continues to trade from today. It also has overseas sites in Hong Kong and Singapore. The company also sells coins and antiques, but is best known for its rare stamps business..."

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40245067

In closing, let it be noted that the organisers of the Scheibenwelt (German Discworld) convention want you to know there are "only 827 days left" until the next convention...

And that's the lot for June. Take care, and we'll see you in July!

– Annie Mac

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

The End. If you have any questions or requests, write: wossname-owner (at) pearwood (dot) info

Copyright (c) 2017 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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